February 11, 2014 1:23:16 am
Kevin Pietersen’s England career was brought to an end due to concerns about his support for captain Alastair Cook, the ECB revealed.
At the time, the ECB would only cite the need for a new “team ethic and philosophy” in the wake of the 5-0 Test series defeat in Australia. However, following calls for an explanation from former players Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan, the ECB said, “ The ECB recognises the significant contribution Kevin has made to England teams over the last decade. However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia.”
“To do that we must invest in our captain Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other. “
The ECB went on to address accusations emanating from social media that Pietersen had been forced out of squad by figures from within the camp. “Allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB’s decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the (former) England team director (Flower) and some of England’s players,” the statement added.
“It is important to stress that Andy Flower, Alastair Cook and (wicketkeeper) Matt Prior, who have all been singled out for uninformed and unwarranted criticism, retain the total confidence and respect of all the other members of the Ashes party. These are men who care deeply about the fortunes of the England team and its image, and it is ironic that they were the people who led the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England squad in 2012.”
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