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“We have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have finally broken their silence on why they decided to axe batsman Kevin Pietersen following the national team’s disastrous tour of Australia.
The ECB noted that they simply could not trust the South African-born batsman anymore.
The board added that they were also not sure whether Pietersen was committed to supporting captain Alastair Cook in helping the team bounce back from their horrendous tour.
The ECB also confirmed that Pietersen has been released from his central contract, which effectively verifies rumours that his international career is all but over.
“It has been a matter of great frustration that until now the England and Wales Cricket Board has been unable to respond to the unwarranted and unpleasant criticism of England players and the ECB itself, which has provided an unwelcome backdrop to the recent negotiations to release Kevin Pietersen from his central contract,” the ECB statement said. “Those negotiations have been successfully concluded and whilst both parties remain bound by confidentiality provisions the ECB would like to make the following comments.
“The ECB recognises the significant contribution Kevin has made to England teams over the last decade. He has played some of the finest innings ever produced by an England batsman.
“However, the England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia. To do that we must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other.
“It is for those reasons that we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen.
“Following the announcement of that decision, allegations have been made, some from people outside cricket, which as well as attacking the rationale of the ECB’s decision-making, have questioned, without justification, the integrity of the England Team Director and some of England’s players.
“Clearly what happens in the dressing room or team meetings should remain in that environment and not be distributed to people not connected with the team.
“This is a core principle of any sports team, and any such action would constitute a breach of trust and team ethics.
“Whilst respecting that principle, it is important to stress that Andy Flower, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, who have all been singled out for uninformed and unwarranted criticism, retain the total confidence and respect of all the other members of the Ashes party.
“These are men who care deeply about the fortunes of the England team and its image, and it is ironic that they were the people who led the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England squad in 2012.”