LONDON: Kevin Pietersen was disappointed to have been snubbed again by England after going to ‘great lengths’ to broker a peace deal following the text message row that threatens to end his international career.
Pietersen has been in exile since sending text messages to South Africa players that contained derogatory references to then England captain Andrew Strauss during the recent Test series. With reports circulating that Pietersen had also fallen out with several teammates as a result of his behaviour, the South Africa-born star was axed for the final Test, the subsequent one-day series, the current World Twenty20 tournament and now the forthcoming tour to India.
The 32-year-old’s management team released a statement just hours after the squad for the India tour was announced yesterday making it clear he had done everything possible to make amends for the controversy.
“Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today’s decision, having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB,” the statement read. “Pietersen has met with – and apologised to – 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, prior to his departure to Sri Lanka.
“At all times, Pietersen had wished his dealings with the ECB to remain private so as not to inflame an already difficult situation. 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 insists he will continue to make himself available for international duty despite the latest snub and also moved to quash reports that he had given South Africa’s bowlers advice on the best ways to dismiss Strauss.
The statement continued, “Pietersen 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. Pietersen remains available for England.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2012.
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