England has moved on: Andrew Strauss says ending hopes of a comeback for Kevin Pietersen
Andrew Strauss, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) Director of cricket has suggested that Kevin Pietersen’s international career is all but over, The Telegraph reports. The former skipper cited England’s 3-2 Ashes victory over Australia as evidence that the team has “moved on” from the flamboyant batsman.
Pietersen is arguably England’s greatest modern batsman but has often run into trouble with the country’s cricket board over question marks over his attitude. The 35-year-old last played for the national team in early 2014, where he was part of the England team that suffered a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of their arch-rivals Australia in the Ashes series Down Under.
Pietersen was also overlooked for the 2015 Ashes series with Strauss previously suggesting that Pietersen would not play for England again. He has once again hinted that following the Ashes success, Pietersen’s chances of a comeback are all but over.
Speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention, Strauss said: “I think the team has moved on and the team is in a pretty good place. I think some of those young guys have established themselves. You look at Root, Stokes, Moeen Ali as three guys over the past 18 months that have really come through and have the makings of top-quality international players. That’s what we will be focusing on taking England forward."
Pietersen shares a sour relationship with his former teammate Strauss, who replaced him as England skipper in 2009. Pietersen sent derogatory remarks about Strauss to some members of the touring South African team and their relationship has only taken a turn for the worse ever since.
Post retirement, Strauss criticised his former teammate on national television and following his appointment to the English cricket hierarchy, Pietersen's chances have looked even slimmer than before. Pietersen didn’t do his chances any favour by openly criticising Strauss after he was not picked for England despite some impressive performances in the English domestic circuit.
“I accepted that Alastair Cook and I need to sort a few things out. But I thought we could manage that and Strauss is in a position to facilitate it happening. It is his job to ensure Alastair and I could do that. I just find it incredibly deceitful what has happened to me and am frankly finding it difficult to understand right now. I have done everything I have been asked. I keep asking myself, what more could I do?” Pietersen had said.