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Botham ‘surprised’ over KP’s departure

KP's turbulent relationship with ECB took a dramatic turn with the batsman's shock retirement from ODIs.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: June 2, 2012 3:07:19 pm

Surprised over Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from ODIs and Twenty20,cricket legend Ian Botham has said that the England batsman’s departure should spark a switch to youth.

Pietersen’s turbulent relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) took a dramatic turn with the batsman’s shock retirement from one-day and Twenty20 internationals.

Pietersen,31,has found himself at the centre of several awkward situations since making his England debut in 2004.

Botham said that the England one-day team was there before Pietersen joined it and it will be there now after he has left.

“Life and sport move on and so will England. There is no point having a player in the dressing room if his heart is not in it and he doesn’t want to play. Once he made his decision,nothing was going to change it,so we must accept it and look forward.

“If he doesn’t want to play for England in whatever format,it might be time to let him go,wish him all the best then find someone who does want to be there and play one-day cricket for their country,” the Daily Mirror quoted Botham,as saying.

“He has left some big shoes to fill,but someone will step up to the plate. It has always happened and it always will. There is a chance now for a host of young talent to put their hand up and say ‘pick me’,” he said.

Botham said that KP’s decision to retire from international one-day cricket surprised him as the timing was not right.

“For a player of his class and calibre I would have thought he would want to go out on the biggest stage of all – a World Cup. Either the World T20 in September or the World Cup at the start of 2015 when he would have been 34. He is not exactly an old man,” he said.

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