Former England international cricketer Kevin Pietersen said England cricket director Andrew Strauss was right to overlook him for this year’s Ashes Test series victory over Australia.
The controversial South African-born batsman, speaking to 200 delegates at a Sports Industry Breakfast Club meeting on Thursday, was asked if his former captain Strauss made the correct move in leaving him out. “Absolutely,” replied Pietersen. “It seems to be the right decision at the moment and good luck to him.
“There is so much knowledge out there which we missed out on in the last three or four years of my career where we could have had that impact.”
Pietersen was sacked by England last year following a number of incidents that culminated in the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia during which he was accused of being disengaged from the team. Asked on Thursday if he thought the door was now firmly bolted shut on a return, the 35-year-old replied, “If it is, it is. I’m not sitting here worrying about what has happened. I’m living my life.”
The two men fell out spectacularly during the 2012 Test series against South Africa when Pietersen sent provocative texts about then-captain Strauss to opposition players. The animosity between them was re-ignited last year when Strauss made offensive comments about his former team mate while broadcasting for Sky Sports.
There was a clamour for Pietersen to be recalled in May when he smashed 355 not out for Surrey against Leicestershire, and the innings prompted a meeting with Strauss. “I went there with a lot of positivity and left with quite a bit of negativity,” Pietersen said to a smattering of laughter.
“He had a decision to make and he made his decision and it turned out fine. England won the Ashes. At the time I thought it was ridiculous, it was nonsense to leave me out. I might have said something stronger to him,” he added.