Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2015 Contents Wednesday, May 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---So deep was the distrust of
Kevin Pietersen that, even after his maiden
first-class triple century, he was told by
new cricket director Andrew Strauss he
would not play for England this summer.
In revealing yesterday that Pietersen s
England ambitions were still bleak, Strauss
said he and Tom Harrison, the England and
Wales Cricket Board CEO, met with
Pietersen late Monday, after the batsman
scored 326 not out for Surrey against Leices-
Pietersen told media after the innings: "I
want to play for England again soon," but
Strauss informed him he would not feature
in the summer Test campaigns against New
Zealand and Australia.
Strauss said he offered Pietersen a non-
playing role with the limited-overs team but was
Strauss refused to permanently rule Pietersen out
from returning to the fold after the summer, when
England go to South Africa, but admitted their rela-
tionship needs to improve.
"Over months and years, the trust between himself
and the ECB has eroded, and we are in the situation
now where there is a massive trust issue between
Kevin and I," Strauss told Sky.
"Because of that, we have decided that it is not
in the best short-term interests of the side for him
to be in that team.
"I can t give him any guarantees on the future but
he is not banned from the side. No one knows what
is going to happen in the future. Everyone knows
there is no trust out there. If there is a way to build
trust, then let s look at it, but at the moment, we
are quite estranged."
Strauss said he, Harrison, and new ECB chairman
Colin Graves were in agreement. It was Graves who
offered Pietersen a lifeline back to international cricket,
which England s highest run-scorer across all formats
accepted by signing for Surrey.
Pietersen, dropped following the 2013-14 Ashes
whitewash in Australia, scored his first century of
the county season on Monday and finished his innings
unbeaten on 355, not long after Strauss comments.
On Monday, Pietersen said: "I want to play for
England again soon. I just want to score runs. Personal
differences between personalities has nothing to do
with what the public wants. The public wants to see
England cricket winning."
The turbulent relationship between Pietersen and
Strauss emerged before a 2012 Test series against
South Africa. Pietersen was dropped from England
before the opening encounter for sending messages
to the Proteas regarding Strauss, his then-captain
and, like Pietersen, born in South Africa.
Pietersen returned to the squad in 2013 but a year
later, he was discarded again after England s humil-
iating Ashes tour, where the side was routed 5-0,
and won only one limited-overs game.
He was told he had no future with England, and
his divisions with the ECB were aggravated by his
autobiography, released last October.
Pietersen wrote about a "bullying culture" in the
England side, and alleged Strauss was approached
by team members who were "intimidated to field
Pietersen also hoped that if the board changed
"then I really believe I could play for England again."
Incoming chairman Graves heightened that belief
when he said in March that Pietersen would be con-
sidered for a recall if he returned to play county
cricket and hit top form.
Pietersen duly secured a release from his Indian
Premier League contract to join Surrey, and his triple
century left Strauss, appointed as director on Saturday,
under immediate pressure to make a decision on a
potential comeback by the 34-year-old.
Strauss showed within hours of accepting his new
role that he wasn t afraid of big decisions when he
forced out coach Peter Moores. He said that former
Australia bowler Jason Gillespie was a possible replace-
"He is one of the candidates, absolutely," Strauss
"Over the next few days we will start approaching
candidates. Moores has been very popular in the
England dressing room but I felt there are some areas
in international cricket where he is a little bit exposed---
for me personally, around tactics and strategy."
Strauss added that Joe Root has replaced Ian Bell
as the Test vice captain, and backed Alastair Cook,
who made his first century in almost two years against
the West Indies this month, to lead the side against
Strauss: Pietersen won't play
for England this summer
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