England were right to terminate Pietersen’s contract, says Steve Waugh

Image courtesy of: The Australian

“I’m not surprised at all”

Legendary Australia captain Steve Waugh has announced that he believes the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) made the right decision to terminate batsman Kevin Pietersen’s central contract.

The ECB let Pietersen go after the national team’s disastrous tour of Australia.

Waugh feels the ECB had no choice but to put their foot down since Pietersen has been involved in numerous controversies throughout his international career.

“I’m not surprised at all (about the decision to sack Pietersen),” Waugh told the Daily Mail. “I think it was the right time.

“He had enough strikes – three strikes and you are out. What he did when Strauss was captain was enough really for most players to never play again.

“He was given some extra leeway to get back into the team and I think when you are the best player in the world you can get away with doing some of the things he did. But he was no longer probably in the top 10 batsmen in the world.

“And I don’t think he was buying into the team ethic or culture – that is what it looked like. He ran out of chances.”

Waugh also noted that England need to rebuild following the departure of Pietersen and off-spinner Graeme Swann, who retired midway through the last Ashes series.

“England are doing the right thing by clearing their decks and working out how they can get better,” Waugh said. “Andy Flower has moved aside. Maybe he thought it was time to try a different role.

“Graeme Swann has retired and Pietersen is gone. Alastair Cook has to grab the team by the scruff of the neck and say ‘This is the team I want to have and this is the way I want to play and this is the culture I want’ and they have to stick with it for a while. In 12 months time it might turn around.”

England limited overs coach Ashley Giles is likely to take over as head coach for all three formats after Andy Flower resigned and Paul Collingwood is on track to become his assistant.

“If I was an England supporter or anyone involved I’d be totally embarrassed,” Waugh said. “You can lose in certain ways but they lost without showing any fight and that’s the worst thing you can do as a sporting team.

“I don’t know Ashley Giles well but I know Paul Collingwood and it would be a great move for England, he’s very passionate and a player that made the most of his ability which is what you have to do at that level.

“He was not naturally that gifted but was a highly respected opponent and Giles was the same. So you’ve got two very grounded characters there who will do the hard work that England need to do.

“They were both very passionate about playing for England so I think they are excellent choices who will get the squad moving in the right direction, and together with Cook they will form a good leadership group which really wants to play for England and do England proud. The most hurtful thing about the last couple of Tests was the lack of fight.”

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