Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former England captain Andrew Strauss has announced that the real victim of Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography is the England team.
Pietersen has launched scathing attacks against numerous England players in his autobiography and this has led Strauss branding the entire controversy as pure and utter “madness”.
“A lot of this that’s going on at the moment is madness,” Strauss told Sky Sports. “There’s been a lot of rumour, innuendo and opinion. I prefer to stick with the facts. All this tit-for-tat stuff, I don’t think really helps the England cricket team.
“The victim here really isn’t Kevin Pietersen, or Andy Flower or Matt Prior or anyone; it’s actually the England cricket team and Alastair Cook and Peter Moores who’ve got to try to take the side forward. That, to me, is the disappointing thing about this whole episode.”
Strauss was also quick to defend former head coach Andy Flower after Pietersen claimed that he ruled by fear.
“Andy Flower is a guy of complete integrity. If you look at his record as coach, it’s second to none,” Strauss said. “That idea that the team should come first was central to what we did, and something Andy Flower was very conscious of and protective over. Anyone who was testing that would be dealt with accordingly, and rightly so.”
Strauss and Pietersen’s relationship became extremely frosty in the summer of 2012 after it alleged that Pietersen sent “derogatory texts” about Strauss to the South African team.
However, earlier this year, Strauss was overheard calling Pietersen a “c***” from the back of the commentary box during Sky’s coverage of the MCC bicentenary match at Lord’s.
But, Pietersen has even criticised Strauss in his autobiography, stating that the former captain got “close to Flower” in order to prolong his tenure as skipper.
“Strauss was clever enough to play the long game,” Pietersen wrote. “He would have to get close to Flower if he wanted longevity as captain, and getting tough on me would earn him brownie points. If you have longevity, you have the ECB in your pocket.”
When asked what it would take for him to play for England again, Pietersen told the Evening Standard that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke “would have to go”.
“What would have to happen for me to be recalled by England? Clearly, the boss would have to go,” Pietersen said. “Clarke would have to go, and I’ve been hearing that could happen in the next few months. That’s all hearsay, you never know. If there is a change at the top, there is potential, but we will wait and see.
“Giles pulls a lot of strings. In terms of cricket, I believe Andy Flower pulls a lot of strings too. He has Giles Clarke in his pocket.”