England news May 23, 2014

KP slams 'wholly untrue' Downton comments


Kevin Pietersen has dismissed as "wholly untrue" comments made by Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket, relating to the decision to end the batsman's international career.

Pietersen has reacted to an interview Downton gave to the BBC on Thursday by releasing a statement on his website strongly refuting Downton's version of events and clarifying his desire to seek a final settlement when it became clear he would not be picked again by England.

In the BBC interview, Downton said he had "never seen anyone as disinterested or distracted on a cricket field" as Pietersen had been during the Sydney Test and that, after talking to the management team and several of the senior players there was a "unanimous feeling" that the time had come to move on from the player. Downton said he "couldn't find one supporter" for Pietersen's retention.

But Pietersen has now responded in typically uninhibited style. Not only has he insisted that he retains a good relationship with most of the England squad involved in the Ashes - a claim that is generally supported by comments made by those team-mates in subsequent interviews - but he has issued a reminder of his international record that brought him more runs than any England player in history, a part in four Ashes-winning sides and a man of the tournament award in England's only global success: the World T20 title of 2010.

"The suggestion that I was uninterested during the winter Ashes series against Australia is wholly untrue," he 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."

Pietersen also sought to clarify Downton's claim that it was the player who "wanted to come to a settlement to terminate his central contract." While Pietersen accepts that is true, he points out that it was a decision he made only after it became clear he would no longer be considered for England selection.

"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."

Pietersen and the ECB are supposedly bound to confidentiality clauses that were designed to keep such squabbles private. But Downton's decision to speak so freely about the issue has ensured that Pietersen's shadow will linger over the England team for some while yet.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nursery_ender on May 25, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    quote :Posted by cloudmess on (May 24, 2014, 15:01 GMT) Let us hope the ECB can eventually come up with a concrete reason which would justify the permanent sacking of KP. If they can't, then history is not going look kindly upon them in this whole episode.

    How about he's 34, has a degenerative knee problem and is a disruption in the dressing room? Just look at what happened when the Indian hierarchy kept an underperforming middle-order batsman several years past his prime.

  • talgeri on May 25, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    Let byones be bygones. Get KP back. If ECB requires the person to handle him they can rope me in from India.

    Come on Cook get going.

    KP u too kindly show too be interested. These are the requirements of the era we are in.

  • dummy4fb on May 24, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    peterson should play for south africa now and hit centuries against england that would feel nice to watch

  • godshand on May 24, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Downton should play for England as a fast bowler since he has already dismissed their best performer!!!

  • cloudmess on May 24, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Let us hope the ECB can eventually come up with a concrete reason which would justify the permanent sacking of KP. If they can't, then history is not going look kindly upon them in this whole episode.

  • markatnotts on May 24, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    @stormy16, yep I actually watched cricket pre 2005. England were number 2 or 3 in the world for most of the period from 2000. Winning Test series in SA, SL, Pakistan, WI, and only really getting annihilated by Steve Waugh's Great Australian team. Oh and we had an attacking opening batsmen, a star allrounder, and some other pretty fine players.

  • android_user on May 24, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    @Shane bond : Well Mr. Bond,I am not an anti-Bell but the fact that bell has not even been considered for t20s - says a lot about the value of KP who has been the man of the tournament in England's sole world title (wt20,2010) and besides his contribution in 4 ashes victory was far more than bell,especially in the starting New era for England(2005 ashes).

    Even I love the way bell bats(stylish) & who could forget his three test centuries against Pakistan in their own den against world class spin attack when England was even considered more weaker than ever on turning tracks.

    Nice sharing views with you (one of the greatest premium inswing fast bowler of all time).Even I started concentrating more on my bowling after watching the way you toyed with the batsmen.Has hit 95 a few times :-)

  • dummy4fb on May 24, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    I don't know if Downton was watching the other England cricketers during the Sydney Test but it seemed to me that they were even more distracted and disinterested in the cricket. To me, they looked shattered and whatever might appear as "interest" in their demeanour is likely to be "I wish this is over soon so that I can go home". Perhaps Paul mistook the looks of eagerness to escape the living hell as eagerness in play?

  • stormy16 on May 24, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    I dont buy Downtons story regardless if its true or not. You need to show some respect for a guy who has toiled years for Engaland and was a part of its recent success. Anyone remember England before KP and 2005? Like it or not KP is a legend for England and deserves better than this. I am not suggesting KP is without fault but what's done is done and its time to show some gratitude for a guy who was part of Englands success in the recent past.

  • android_user on May 24, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    @Shane bond: well Mr. Bond we need to back KP to back cricket.I am not an anti-bell,infact I love d style of his batting and who could forget his 3 centuries against Pakistan in their own den when England where even weaker against spin.

    What I meant was pieterson is a bigger gem than Ian bell for ECB & world cricket.As u said, bell was not even considered for t20s whereas KP was man of d tournament in the only world title (wt20) eng have won in 2010.He was part of 4 ashes victory as well,even though bell was part of it but KP played a far Big role than Ian,especially in 2005.

    nice talking one of the greatest n fastest inswing bowler.I admire you n have started concentrating more on my bowling after watching the way you bowl.Have touched 95 @ Times :-)

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