'I was fully motivated to play for England', Kevin Pietersen hits back at ECB
In response to England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton’s claims that Kevin Pietersen was sacked from the England team three months ago for his lackadaisical attitude during the 5-0 whitewash by Australia in the Ashes series Down Under, the 33-year-old, who is currently captaining the Indian Premier League side Delhi Daredevils, released the statement vehemently denying such behaviour. He has also said that he was fully committed to playing for England.
Pietersen released the following statement through his official website yesterday:
“Whilst I have always abided by the confidentiality clauses that the ECB were insistent on imposing in the settlement agreement I entered into with them at the time of the termination of my central contract, I feel it only fair to exercise my right to reply to the comments made by Paul Downton in an interview that took place on Test Match Special during yesterday’s One Day International.
Aside from the strange timing of yesterday’s interview during an ODI, the comments regarding the cancellation of my contract should be put in perspective. It was made very clear to me that I was not being selected for the World T20 squad, and the ECB did not try to give me the remotest confidence that I would be seriously considered for selection for England again. Had I allowed my contract to “wind down”, as the ECB proposed, I would not only have forfeited the performance-related elements that are part of the England player remuneration, but more importantly my availability as a professional cricketer would have remained under the control of the ECB for a further eight months.
The suggestion that I was uninterested during the winter Ashes series against Australia is wholly untrue. Although I was having injections in my knee, which inhibited my mobility and thus my ability to field close to the wicket, I was fully motivated to play for England and whilst I accept that the series as a whole fell well below my own personal standards, I finished the series as the top scorer. I did, and continue to have a good relationship with most of the England players, which has been subsequently highlighted by a number of press interviews. With regard to the criticisms aimed at my “the way I play type attitude”, I feel it’s only reasonable to remind Mr Downton that this method has brought me over 13,500 runs for England, in addition to being part of four Ashes-winning teams and a World T20-winning side, all of which achievements I am hugely proud of.
I will continue to abide by the confidentiality provisions contained in my settlement agreement, which I believe applies to both the ECB and myself.”
Pietersen later tweeted:
My website has crashed cos of weight of traffic to it...will be up and running shortly! Also having statement loaded to another site now!— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) May 23, 2014