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“I think it’s about time the ECB put out an official statement so we all know what is going on”
Legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham has demanded that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) explain their decision to sack batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Botham is the third former England captain to call on the ECB for an answer after Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan.
“I think everyone needs to remember what a terrific player he has been and the entertainment he has given,” Botham said. “I think it’s about time the ECB put out an official statement so we all know what is going on. There have been a lot of Chinese whispers, a lot of ex-players speculating. I don’t know what has happened. I don’t think anybody does.
“He is one of the best players the country has ever had. His career has been terminated. Well why not tell us why? And don’t give us the one-liner ‘we are moving on, we’re doing this, we’re doing that.’ He is 33, not 43.
“I do believe the ECB needs to come out and lay their cards out on the table, explain their decision. I think the cricketing public deserves that. And I think the other thing they need to look at is the amount of back-room people they have.
“Everything is getting so cluttered up nowadays. There are so many people trying to justify their existence. Everyone is talking about a cull of the players. I think they need to look at the back room as well.
“Things do move on. Things don’t stay rosy and wonderful forever. England’s performance this winter was abysmal and there was bound to be repercussions. I don’t think anyone expected it to be quite as severe.
“The coach has gone, Graeme Swann has gone, Kevin Pietersen appears to have gone. Who says there is not more to go? If England are going to do this and start with Kevin Pietersen, they need to do it properly.”