Warne believes England have made a grave mistake in letting Pietersen retire from limited overs cricket
Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne has voiced his anger towards the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), stating that they are the real culprits behind the retirement of England batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, wanted to stop playing ODI cricket and concentrate on Twenty20 Internationals and his Test cricket career, but according to the ECB rules, every England player must be available to play both ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals or they will be left out from both formats of the game.
Taking the ECB rule into account, Pietersen decided to end his career as a ODI and Twenty20 batsman, and instead concentrate on making a better name for himself in the Test cricket department.
Pietersen, who was the Man of the Tournament in the 2010 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, will also miss the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, where England will be defending their trophy against the other cricket playing nations.
England recently played a five match ODI series against Australia and won 4-0, but even with that result, Warne believes England have shot themselves in the foot by leaving Pietersen out of squad.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Warne said: “Any team that hasn’t got Kevin Pietersen is significantly weaker, he’s a match-winner so that’s a big loss. It staggers me and I’m very surprised that the ECB didn’t try and negotiate that better, drop their egos and say, okay we understand this, we want to keep our best players playing all the time.”
Warne, went on to say that the ECB’s ego had got in the way when making a final decision on whether they would allow Pietersen to only play in Twenty20 Internationals and Test cricket.
“I think it’s just a bit too much ego for my liking from the ECB. Who wouldn’t want Kevin Pietersen in your side? He’s a match-winner and he puts bums on seats because people love watching him play. He rubs off on the rest of the players. So to me it’s a huge loss,” Warne added.
Comparing Pietersen’s situation with that of Michael Clarke, who retired from Twenty20 cricket, Warne said: “People might give up more one-day cricket or they might give up Twenty20, Michael Clarke’s given up Twenty20 in Australia because he can’t play all three forms at that level, but you can’t imagine Australia dropping him and saying don’t worry about one-day cricket, just stick to Tests.”
With Pietersen out of the ODI and Twenty20 squads for good, England have called up Ian Bell as his replacement.