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Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has announced that the comments made by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Paul Downton about him were “wholly untrue”.
Pietersen’s comments come after Downton told BBC’s Test Match Special that he had “never seen anyone as disinterested or distracted on a cricket field” and that “I couldn’t find one supporter saying ‘we want KP to stay in the side'”.
“The suggestion that I was uninterested during the winter Ashes series against Australia is wholly untrue,” Pietersen said. “Although I was having injections in my knee, which inhibited my mobility and thus my ability to field close to the wicket, I was fully motivated to play for England and whilst I accept that the series as a whole fell well below my own personal standards, I finished the series as the top scorer.
“I did, and continue to have a good relationship with most of the England players, which has been subsequently highlighted by a number of press interviews.
“With regard to the criticisms aimed at my ‘the way I play type attitude’, I feel it’s only reasonable to remind Mr Downton that this method has brought me over 13,500 runs for England, in addition to being part of four Ashes-winning teams and a World T20-winning side, all of which achievements I am hugely proud of.”
While Pietersen admitted that he wanted to terminate his central contract, he added that he only made the decision since he knew he was not going to get picked to play for England in the future.
“It was made very clear to me that I was not being selected for the World T20 squad,” Pietersen said. “And the ECB did not try to give me the remotest confidence that I would be seriously considered for selection for England again.
“Had I allowed my contract to ‘wind down’, as the ECB proposed, I would not only have forfeited the performance-related elements that are part of the England player remuneration, but more importantly my availability as a professional cricketer would have remained under the control of the ECB for a further eight months.”