England news June 9, 2014

Pietersen 'relieved' at England exit

ESPNcricinfo staff

As England prepare to start their summer of Test cricket on Thursday, Kevin Pietersen has said that he is relieved to be out of the England dressing-room, claiming the "environment was poor" during England's shambolic Ashes winter.

He also said that, contrary to some things that have been written, in particular the suggestion from England's managing director Paul Downton that he was "disengaged", his relationship with team-mates "was fine".

Pietersen was dropped for good by England's selectors after the series, a decision which continues to divide the cricket public, but in his first ghosted column with the Telegraph he said he, at least, had "moved on with my life".

"I am at peace with everything. It took only a couple of conversations with my family to start thinking this way because of how much I really did not enjoy the winter.

"In fact, it has been a relief to be out of the dressing room because it was not a pleasant place in Australia. We were losing and in my opinion the environment was poor and I was not alone in thinking that. It is a view shared by a number of the players who have spoken their minds since coming back from the tour.

Pietersen was highly critical of the ECB agreement to play back-to-back Ashes series to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup which he argued added to an onerous schedule which proved too much for England's exhausted players.

"As soon as we arrived the Australian media turned the heat up on us. I have had that for years so it did not bother me. It was fun. But for other players you could sense it was a problem. The senior players were tired and it soon became a really long grind against an Australian side that had their backs up in their own country."

He said that he believed that by the end of the series England coach Andy Flower wanted him out. "After the Sydney Test, a headline came out claiming Flower had said to the ECB it was either "him or me". Pietersen added: "He denied saying that but the damage was done."

While reports of unrest within the team circulated widely, Pietersen said that was not the case. "We had an incredible tour on and off the field. I was helping all the bowlers out with their batting, and the night we lost 5-0 we were all having a drink in the bar together with our wives and girlfriends, which proves all was OK between us and still is.

"I have no issue with the players, as many have said in interviews since the tour ended. I speak to Stuart Broad and I even organised for Graeme Swann to go on holiday to one of my friend's hotels after he retired."

He said he had now moved on and was not wishing he was part of the side at Lord's this week. "Could I play more Test cricket? Yes of course, but should I sit here thinking I should be playing on Thursday? No, because that is when jealousy and negative thoughts come into your head."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Srinivas on June 12, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    KP is by far the best import United XI had in more than 100 years. What a loss to world cricket! He should have never played for this poor team. His career ended abruptly. A KP fan from India.

  • John on June 11, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @Flash_hard27 on (June 10, 2014, 8:41 GMT) Thankyou for the kind words

    @disco_bob on (June 10, 2014, 9:01 GMT) Indeed but by the same token his stats were only marginally better than others and Stokes averaged 5 more than him.It's not like he was great and everyone else was bad.

  • Darren on June 10, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    I still don;t understand why so many people are claiming KP has been made a scapegoat fot the ashes loss. Flower, Giles,Mustaq et al are no longer part of the management team. Prior, Root, Tremlett, Carberry, Stokes and Bairstow all dropped either during or after the series. KP negotiated his way out of his contract because ECB refused to give him assurances he would be picked and he wanted to play a full season of IPL. That was his choice. If he had missed the IPL and made a shedload of runs for Surrey I would be in favour of his reinstatement but he didn't. Also, just weeks after making a statement about his desire to play in the 2015 worldcup he makes another statement about how boring he finds ODI cricket. I for one have had enough of hearing him complaining and am looking forward to the future without KP.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    KP was the best player Eng produced since a long long time

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    KP is easily the most dangerous batsman that England has had in decades. Opposing sides will be relieved just like KP says he is in not playing for the English side. The world of test cricket will miss his audacious batting style.

  • disco on June 10, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    @JG2704. "...no English fan on here is saying England lost the Ashes 5-0 because of KP..." Considering he was the highest English scorer if would be surreal if they did.

  • Neil on June 10, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @JG2704 - Thanks goodness for your comments. There is even more rubbish than usual under this thread. KP was a great batsman from 2005 - 2012, but has since been in decline and has a chronic knee injury that is not going to get any better. He was often great for us on the field even if he were often difficult off it and I thanks him for some super cricketing memories but his time is over. The England test team's biggest problem remains replacing Swann and sadly there is no quick fix for that.

    SL might get a draw at Lords where it is becoming increasingly difficult to force a result but I fancy England to win in Leeds.

  • Android on June 10, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Great job KP. You have in my eyes come out the better man. You have already sealed your legacy as one of the finest batsman to have played cricket. At this age one wishes that in the last couple of years of one's career, he gets the respect he deserves for his service. And when ECB can be so distasteful in their approach, well let them be. It would take years for England to replace you, specially someone who can dominate quality spinners on a mumbai minefield and take england to a series victory. Hats off KP. You will always have our respect. Wish you a happy life, away from the ECB nonsense.

  • Andy on June 10, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    KP is merely doing what KP does best - keeping his media profile high. Do you really think that he's relieved not to be involved in test cricket any longer? It will be interesting to hear the other side of the story later this year. Either way, it doesn't really matter anymore. England's biggest problem will be how to replace Swann in the short-term.

  • John on June 10, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @m0se on (June 10, 2014, 3:12 GMT) I'd say most English fans on these threads blame the whole team/captaincy and management and KP is part of the whole team. I see posts on here which are really anti KP and posts which go too far the other way but let's have it right here no English fan on here is saying England lost the Ashes 5-0 because of KP. Every single English batsman was poor on that tour.

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