LONDON: Troubled England star Kevin Pietersen suffered another blow as the controversial batsman was dismissed for a golden duck just hours after more damaging allegations emerged about the text message row that threatens to end his international career.
Pietersen lasted just one ball on his return to action for Surrey in his first county match since being dropped by England for the ongoing final Test against South Africa.
The 32-year-old was axed after sending what he described as ‘provocative’ texts to South African players during the second Test at Headingley that are believed to have contained criticism of English captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.
Due to meet Strauss
He is due to meet the England captain after the conclusion of the Lord’s Test in a bid to repair their fractured relationship and salvage his England future.
But that meeting is likely to be even more uncomfortable for Pietersen after reports on Sunday that his texts to the South Africans contained tactical advice on how to dismiss Strauss.
It is claimed Pietersen told South Africa pace bowler Dale Steyn that Strauss was vulnerable to deliveries from around the wicket.
Pietersen has apologised for the texts without specifying their content, but former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Lord MacLaurin told the BBC that if the allegations are proven, Pietersen will likely not play for England again.
“I think the Kevin Pietersen thing is pretty sad and pretty serious for cricket, the ECB are capable of dealing with the matter as they see fit,” said Lord MacLaurin. “Nobody is bigger than the game and history is littered with sports stars who believe they are bigger than the game and business people too.
“If the reports in the papers are true ... I think Mr Pietersen will never play for England again.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.