Pietersen snubbed by Strauss over England recall — reports

Exiled batsman Pietersen surpasses his previous first-class best of 254 in a mammoth 326-run innings for Surrey

Afp May 12, 2015
A file photo of Kevin Pietersen in the Surrey jersey. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Kevin Pietersen was told by new England chief Andrew Strauss he will not play for his country again just hours after blasting a career-best 326 not out, according to reports on Monday.

Exiled batsman Pietersen surpassed his previous first-class best of 254 in a mammoth innings for Surrey on day two of their County Championship Division Two match against Leicestershire at The Oval.

The 34-year-old's new record total came in just 373 balls as he smashed 34 fours and 14 sixes to all corners of the south London venue in Surrey's first innings total of 528 for nine.

South Africa-born Pietersen, who has hoped for an England recall since being axed in the aftermath of their 2013-14 Ashes defeat in Australia, revealed immediately after the day's play that he was due to meet Strauss, the ECB's director of cricket, and chief executive Tom Harrison to discuss his international prospects.

But, according to BBC reports later on Monday, Strauss, who was hired over the weekend, used the meeting to confirm to Pietersen that he would not be allowed back into the fold.

"We understand that Kevin Pietersen has been told this evening that he won't be picked to play for England again," a tweet from the BBC's Test Match Special account read.

The BBC's cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew added: "I gather Strauss has confirmed to KP this evening that he will not be selected for England again."

Television personality Piers Morgan, a close friend of Pietersen's, had earlier suggested the talks would go badly for the batsman.

"I can now reveal that Andrew Strauss and Tom Harrison asked to see KP tonight. I believe to tell him he wouldn't play for England again," Morgan tweeted.

"If Strauss and Harrison still try to end KP's England career now, they are betraying England sport and the fans."

The news will be a big blow to Pietersen, who, following his triple century, had spoken passionately about his desire to resume his international career in time for the forthcoming Ashes series.

"They say timing is everything. He (Strauss) has come in, there's a new chairman on Friday or Saturday, there has to be a new coach, (Peter) Moores has gone," Pietersen said.

"I was told to go and get a county, I was told to score runs, I think I'm scoring runs.

"There is a meeting this evening and it's a totally private matter.
"I've got to be careful what I say; it's an interesting time, and what more can I do?"

Pietersen had also been encouraged by the dismissal over the weekend of England coach Peter Moores, with whom he had an acrimonious power struggle during a previous spell in charge of the national team.

However, Strauss had an equally difficult relationship with Pietersen when he captained the volatile star, who reportedly fell out with several more of his international team-mates.

Pietersen had to admit sending "provocative" texts about Strauss to South Africa players in 2012 and last year Strauss, then working as a television pundit, embarrassingly let slip exactly what he thought of his former team-mate with an obscenity picked up on a stray broadcast mic.

Strauss is certain to be grilled about the situation when he holds his first press conference on Tuesday, before announcing the Test squad to face New Zealand at Lord's next week — a match which Pietersen believes he should feature in.

"I've always said since my knee was sorted in Australia, if my knee's good, I'm going to play well," Pietersen said.

"I played well in the Big Bash, I gave up a contract in India, I'm not playing for any money here — I'm dedicated to getting back my England place.

"I want my England place, and I think I deserve my England place."


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