England news September 24, 2015

Strauss was right to drop me - Pietersen

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Kevin Pietersen made an unbeaten 355 on the day his England ambitions were ended © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen has conceded for the first time that Andrew Strauss, his former England captain and now director of cricket at the ECB, was right to overlook his claims for a Test recall ahead of this summer's Ashes victory.

Speaking at the Sports Industry Breakfast Club, Pietersen admitted that Strauss's decision, which was made in a face-to-face meeting in London only hours after he had scored a career-best 355 not out for Surrey against Leicestershire at The Oval, had initially left him furious.

However, having watched from the sidelines as a new-look England team beat Australia 3-2 in an eventful Ashes series, Pietersen admitted that Strauss's stance had been vindicated. He also claimed to have drawn a line under his international ambitions.

"At the time I would have said it was ridiculous and nonsense," Pietersen said, "but England won the Ashes. I don't draw back to a meeting in May and think 'goodness how things could been different'.

"[Strauss] made his decision and it's turned out absolutely fine. Absolutely it seems to be the right decision at the moment.

"I didn't find it hard [to watch] at all," he added. "I love seeing England win. I have some real close buddies in that side and seeing them do the business was something that made me happy. Seeing those guys play so well and just seeing the structure and the way it has developed makes me so happy."

The animosity between Strauss and Pietersen is no secret, with Strauss having inadvertently aired his opinion of his former team-mate during the MCC bicentenary fixture at Lord's last year, when he was caught swearing on an open microphone in the Sky Sports commentary box.

However, Pietersen claimed to have been impressed by Strauss's first summer in his new role, and praised in particular his efforts to rebuild the connections between the current England team and its former players. Ian Botham and Bob Willis were among the names invited to speak to the team during the Ashes, a move that Pietersen described as "brilliant".

Pietersen's next career move is set to be a stint in the Pakistan Super League as he continues his foray into the world of the freelance Twenty20 cricketer. However, he insisted his first love remains Test cricket, and called for greater remuneration for its players to protect the integrity of the five-day game.

"Twenty20 cricket is here to stay, the game brings in a whole different audience to the sport, but I love Test cricket," he said.

"We owe it to the great game to speak positively about Test cricket. It's an amazing part of what we do and it's the thing I miss most about the game.

"Test cricketers should get paid more, they need to know they are being looked after. With the lures of franchise cricket, we need to protect the game. Test matches should be the pinnacle."

"I would love to play Test cricket. If that can't happen then I will just keep plying my trade anywhere I can over the next few years."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Julian on September 28, 2015, 15:27 GMT

    Just read KP article. Still can't forgive Strauss for denying me seeing KP playing test cricket again. In my opinion Strauss and the like have no consideration for the paying public who pay their wages and who want to see KP play test cricket

  • san on September 27, 2015, 21:10 GMT

    @LANDL47 I am no expert on Ashes, but the whitewash happened in AUS, and the 3-2 at home is barely a triumph. Do you think having KP would have tilted it to 2-3? I would agree that KP drop is justified if ENG can repeat the 3-2 in AUS.

  • Syed on September 27, 2015, 11:13 GMT

    When players become superstars, solely because of their performances, we have to bear with them. ICC have projects for behavior, character, illegal activities, etc. But these are not only things civilization is all about. They should have something like self-management and self-organization kind of training for players when they are in their mid-career and on the way to-be-superstar. This way will help them 'preserving sometime their cricket rules, ego, positions or personal status' as well as not losing superstars at the same time. Otherwise. we will keep watching ins and outs of many greats who could be greater like, Lara, Miandad, Gayle, Yousuf, Sanga, Dravid, Trott, list is long. KP is not alone. I know you reserve comments on some names here but I have reasons for it.

  • charles on September 27, 2015, 9:17 GMT

    This story of KP and Strauss has gone very boring.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2015, 5:30 GMT

    @ TREBLA

    KP was England's leading test runs scorer when he was fired - are you deluded ?

  • Dik on September 26, 2015, 20:29 GMT

    Hey, look KP is trying to be in the news again, trying to gain some attention for himself! He and his buddy Piers Morgan must be living lonely lives with England winning the Ashes and people jumping off their bandwagon.

  • Dummy4 on September 26, 2015, 18:24 GMT

    Ironically , I am reading this article after reading the one about Amir. It is so hard to believe that KP was not given the respect he deserves after all that he has done for England Cricket. I am sure KP was a nuisance and a trouble maker in the team but when it comes to representing the country and protecting the integrity of the game and the country, he was well on top with all the world class players. On the other hand , the entire nation and a huge set of cricket fans are hoping for the return of a teenager who cheated the game and country for money and making him a hero of the game. Coming from the subcontinent myself , I admire how Australia and England keep emotions out of the game while making decisions. I cant believe that Clarke has stepped down and the entire nation is now moving forward while still as an Indian fan , I am hoping yuvraj / sehwag would make a return.

  • Suresh on September 26, 2015, 14:18 GMT

    " Second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be better even after we fail & everyone deserves a chance to clean up their mistakes"

  • Albert on September 26, 2015, 10:25 GMT

    Bradman knew he could get away with being aloof and self centred by scoring centuries. Sobers said his motivation to perform was going out at night and partying. He could drink and play all night as long as he performed the next day. Warne had created a similar situation. His behaviour was questionable, but he just kept taking wickets. Peterson, plain and simple, did not perform when he had to. He did not score enough runs. So his behaviour meant they had a two reasons to drop him. But anything could happen in English cricket. He might be back.

  • Dave on September 26, 2015, 9:38 GMT

    How anyone can suggest he should play for SA is baffling! He's got even less chance of being selected there than he has in England. If these not very bright fans of his would stop and think a bit they should see that he is now at pensionable age for top sportsmen, and even if any international side was foolish enough to fall for his self-promoting guff he wouldn't last five minutes in top class Test cricket. Just leave him alone to go and peddle his wares to anyone who is foolish enough to even talk to him in the first place. He is just like one of those faded old Hollywood stars who can't figure out where and why all the faithful fans have gone. You lot will still be bleating on about him in 20 years time!

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