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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Cricket

No need for Pietersen 'love-in' says axed coach
AFP
Manchester, September 11, 2012
First Published: 17:13 IST(11/9/2012)
Last Updated: 17:16 IST(11/9/2012)

The ex-England coach sacked after a row with Kevin Pietersen has said there's no need for the batsman to have a love-in with his team-mates if he is to resume his international career.

However, Peter Moores said mutual respect was necessary.

The England selectors were due to meet on Tuesday to pick their squad for the upcoming four Test tour of India, with the party set to be made public on Thursday.

Pietersen, England's most talented batsman, remains in international exile following a series of flare-ups that led to him being dropped following the drawn second Test at Headingley last month.

Although Pietersen scored a brilliant, match-saving, 149 against his native South Africa, he was axed after it was revealed that he'd sent provocative texts to opposition players, some of which were allegedly critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss.

Pietersen has not played for his adopted country in any format since and will miss this month's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, despite being the man of the tournament in the 2010 edition.

However with Strauss having now retired — a decision he insists was not influenced by the latest controversy engulfing Pietersen — and England needing to find an opener to replace him alongside new captain Alastair Cook, the top order could struggle if his absence continues heading into an Ashes year.

Moores lost his post as England coach in 2009 after then captain Pietersen — who later had to resign — said he wasn't up for the job.

New coach Andy Flower and Strauss then formed a successful alliance that took England to home and away Ashes triumphs and the world number one ranking, which they recently lost to South Africa. "You don't need to have a love-in but you need to respect each other," Moores, now coach of Lancashire, told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

"It's not an easy decision. I know Andy (Flower) very well and he'll be desperately keen, as will Alastair Cook, to do well in India. They're very competitive people.

The 32-year-old Pietersen's desire to play more often in the lucrative Twenty20 IPL has been central to his recent dispute with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

In a recently published interview with Cricketer magazine, he talked about the IPL, "Every board has accepted it apart from the ECB. Some part of international cricket may have to give as the IPL is not going away."

Pietersen, whose average is of nearly 50 in Tests, is on the verge of joining the game's greatest batsmen and is also understood to be unhappy at what he believes is the involvement of several England team-mates in a mocking fake Twitter account, KP Genius, that has since been closed down.


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