Warne believes England have the most to lose by not picking Pietersen
Australia spin bowling legend Shane Warne has announced that he believes the ongoing Kevin Pietersen saga has been a tragedy for both player and country.
Pietersen was dropped for the final Test at Lord’s against South Africa after it was discovered that he had sent derogatory text messages about his team-mates to South African players.
Pietersen has also been accused of calling the country’s Test captain Andrew Strauss a ‘dumb c***’ in one of the texts, while also providing details on how to dismiss him early into his innings.
“Kevin will be one of the first people to admit that he’s acted in a way that’s been a bit silly and stupid, I’m sure he’d like to take back a few of his actions. There’s a bit too much ego at the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board). There’s no give or take or compromise. Both sides are at fault – the bottom line is Kevin Pietersen is not playing international cricket, which is a tragedy,” Warne said.
With the full contents of the text messages yet to be revealed, Pietersen has been kept on the sidelines to ponder about his international cricket future.
Pietersen has issued an apology about the text messages, but until all the details are clear, he will not be considered for selection.
However, Warne believes Pietersen is just too good of a player for England to keep on the sidelines.
“He has to commit to the team first and you have to also understand that some people need different things, the (English) cricket team, I think they’ve let Kevin Pietersen down – it shouldn’t have gotten to this stage. If he doesn’t sign his England contract, if he doesn’t play for England again, I just think that’s a tragedy, to me, the leadership of England, whether it be the selectors, ECB, coaching, captain – they have to put their hands up and say we haven’t handled this as best we can. Kevin Pietersen has to put his hand up and say I’ve conducted myself in a pretty ordinary fashion too,” Warne said.
Warne, who has had his share of disputes with authority figures during his career, also called on Pietersen and Strauss to settle their differences as quickly as possible.
“Strauss and Pietersen could have gone down the pub and had a beer, if they’d punched the absolute whatever out of each other to sort it out, so be it. If you have to punch each other up around the corner, then do it – get it out of your system. Then come back, put your arm around each other and walk out to play together,” Warne added.