Flintoff believes Pietersen and the ECB should end this dilemma as soon as possible
Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has called on batsman Kevin Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to sort out their ongoing dispute and “move on”.
Pietersen was dropped for the final Test against South Africa after it was found that he was sending derogatory text messages about his team-mates to the South African team.
Pietersen also announced his retirement from limited overs cricket a few months ago, since he refused to take part in “dull” ODIs, which left the ECB with no choice but to drop him from both the Twenty20 and ODI squad.
However, Pietersen has expressed his desire to continue playing Twenty20 cricket, especially in the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 next month in Sri Lanka.
The England batsman further mentioned that he would consider making a return to limited overs cricket if the ECB allowed him to miss two Test matches against New Zealand next year in order to play a full season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), and if the board would tone down the number of series England played in one season.
“I suppose it’s up to the ECB and Kevin to sort it out. They need to get in a room, sort it out and move on because I imagine Andy Flower and his team want it resolved. Any side with Kevin Pietersen in it is a better side, whether that’s the one-day side, Twenty20 or the Test side,” Flintoff said.
However, Flintoff noted that all players should be gunning to earn a spot on the Test roster, since it was the true format of the game, where players could also feel proud to represent their country.
“For me Test cricket was the ultimate format of the game – you can have your IPL and Twenty20 but having success in Test cricket, and the satisfaction of performing well as a player within the Test team, was the ultimate. It’s an honour to play for your country, I wish I was still able to do that,” Flintoff added.
There has also been a lot of speculation over the fact that Pietersen’s relationship with some of his England team-mates is frosty at best, and Pietersen admitted that this was one of the major “obstacles” he must overcome if he is to continue playing international cricket.