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England pace bowler Stuart Broad has admitted that it was “unnecessary” for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to sack batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Broad’s comments come after Pietersen requested the Australian selectors to let him represent the Prime Minister’s XI in their match against England in Canberra on Wednesday.
“It just became a bit of a media uproar, the whole sacking, it just seemed a bit unnecessary when every other player in the history of the game just gets dropped for poor form,” Broad told BBC Radio 5 Live. “His form was pretty poor over 18 months, but every other player just gets dropped. Obviously Kevin’s very disappointed with that and every player should be disappointed if you’re not going to represent your country again. It could’ve been handled very differently, I think, by everyone.”
Even though Pietersen has voiced his eagerness to represent his country again, his chances of doing so are extremely slim due to the emergence of young talents like Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali and James Taylor.
“The guys who have come in – Joe Root, Gary Ballance – have been the shining lights of the England team,” Broad said. “When you lose a great player, younger guys come in and perform, so actually if Kevin Pietersen was still in the side would Joe Root have taken the responsibility on this summer and averaged 99? Probably not, but he became the shining light of the England batting line-up.”
Meanwhile, England ODI captain Eoin Morgan has confirmed that Ian Bell will be given a chance to establish himself as an opener when the national team take on an ACT Invitational XI in Canberra on Monday.
“The top three will be Ali, Bell and Taylor. The first opportunity goes to those guys,” Morgan said. “All three look in great form…Opportunity lands with them and we’ll see how they go. Belly is a class act, somebody we’ve looked to for a long time to score a heavy weight of runs and use his experience. He’s pretty key at the top of the order.”