Left out of the England squad for the Test tour of India,star batsman Kevin Pietersen today expressed disappointment at the snub and said he had gone to “great lengths” to broker peace following the text message scandal that threatened his international career.
He,however,reiterated his desire to play international cricket again.
Pietersen was dropped last month for sending “provocative” text messages to the visiting South African players which allegedly criticised Strauss and reportedly gave advice on how to get him out.
The South Africa-born star was axed for the final Test against South Africa,the subsequent ODI series,the current World Twenty20 and now the forthcoming tour to India.
Pietersen met with Struass,who has since retired from all cricket,new England captain Alastair Cook,coach Andy Flower and members of the team hierarchy in a bid to resolve the issue and win back his place in the squad. But all in vain.
A statement issued on behalf of the 32-year-old,just after his axing from the India tour squad,claimed he had apologised to ex-England captain Andrew Strauss and also met new skipper Alastair Cook.
“Kevin Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today’s
decision having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB,” the statement said.
“Pietersen has met with — and apologised to Andrew Strauss. He has also met with Alastair Cook to stress his commitment to England and met with ECB board members,including face-to-face meetings with Hugh Morris,David Collier and Andy Flower,” it said.
“At all times,Pietersen had wished his dealings with the ECB to remain private so as not to inflame an already difficult situation.”
The statement also denied that Pietersen had offered tactical advice to the South Africans.
“He has also made absolutely clear both to the ECB and the England team that despite unsubstantiated allegations to the contrary and repeated media speculation,he did not offer any tactical advice to the South Africans,” said Pietersen.
“His recent silence was not an admission of any wrong-doing,he wanted to explain and apologise to the ECB for the messages exchanged with members of the South African team.
“Pietersen remains available for England.”
National selector Geoff Miller said the batsman will remain unavailable until the dispute with the ECB is settled.
“I’ve not been given the opportunity to select him because of the issue. When the board says everything is OK,we will revisit the selection process,” Miller told BBC Radio 5 live.
“Pietersen is one of the best players in the world,so it is disappointing,but it’s not just about an individual in a changing room. I’m not prepared to pick one of the best players if it creates a problem. Until these issues have been resolved then nothing can happen.”
Depending on his discussions with the ECB,Pietersen’s next opportunity to be selected for England would come in the limited-overs leg of the tour of India,with two Twenty20 games to be played before Christmas and five one-day internationals scheduled for the new year.