Kevin Pietersen hits out at ECB mistreatment and 'incredibly deceitful' Andrew Strauss
Kevin Pietersen, who has been left in the lurch by the ECB despite scoring a triple century in a County match earlier this week, has lashed out at the way he has been treated by the country’s cricket board. Former teammate Andrew Strauss, the new Director of Cricket of the ECB, was at the receiving end of much of Pietersen’s fury for having claimed the maverick batsman would not be recalled to the national team because of ‘a massive trust issue’.
Pietersen wrote a newspaper column titled ‘My fury at England deceit’, where he questioned ECB’s ambition, Strauss’ appointment, but mostly laid into ECB officials for misleading him ‘down the garden path’ and into a dead end.
Pietersen, one of England’s most successful batsmen ever despite his troubled relations with the rest of the team, was told at a meeting on Monday night that he would not be picked for England again.
“I am absolutely devastated that it looks like my hopes of an England recall have been brought to a close, especially given everything that has been said and asked of me. I must admit I was riding the crest of a wave (having scored a triple ton earlier in the day).
“They have used the word trust to justify not selecting me, well, trust is a two-way thing. I couldn’t believe just half an hour after I had my meeting, the result of it was on the internet and on the BBC airwaves. Now I certainly didn’t tell anybody, so who did? They say they don’t trust me but how can anybody trust them?”
England given permission to lose Ashes: Pietersen
ECB’s stand on the Pietersen conundrum a few days ago was that he would be recalled to the national team provided that he amassed runs in county cricket, following which the batsman forsook his lucrative IPL contract and signed with Surrey to get closer to appearing in national colours.
“What has happened since Colin (Graves, ECB Chairman) told me if I scored county runs I would be available for selection? Nobody has called me. I have given up my IPL contract, at great expense, to play in county cricket. Surrey did not have any funds free to pay me so I said I would play for nothing, just a donation to charity, and it is horrendous to feel I have been led down the garden path. They knew all along this was a dead end for me.
Pietersen also insinuated that Strauss’ appointment as Director fitted in with ECB’s larger policy of ‘having permission to lose’, and that Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart would not have stood for much meekness. Vaughan and Stewart had been considered for the Director’s post, but were eventually cast aside for the less experienced Strauss.
“I am angry and hurt but right now there is nothing I can do about it. Strauss will be judged on his results. Yet I have heard from two very good sources that results do not matter this summer anyway. The job description for the director of cricket job is focused on longer-term goals.
“But if Strauss has been told he does not have to win this summer then why should the players train and work hard? In essence, quite incredibly, they have all been given permission to lose the Ashes. I have never heard that before. It is not in my make-up and I know it is not in the make-up of the English public either. Is this the reason Strauss got that job, because he would accept those conditions? Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart certainly would not.”
IPL opportunity to re-assess options: Pietersen
Alastair Cook, England’s Test captain, is one of the leading voices against Pietersen’s recall, but the South-African born Pietersen stressed that such issues could have been worked around.
“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?
“Under the agreement of releasing me from my IPL contract, Sunrisers Hyderabad have the right to recall me for the final stages of the tournament, so on Friday – at their request – I’ll be travelling out to India. It’ll give me a good opportunity to cool down and assess what I'm going to do next. I'm just sorry it won’t be putting on an England shirt.”