The Ashes 2009

Pietersen ruled out of Ashes

Cricinfo staff

July 22, 2009

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen limps through for another run, England v Australia, 2nd Test, Lord's, 3rd day, July 18, 2009
Next in line?: Kevin Pietersen struggled throughout the Lord's Test, and will now miss the rest of the summer © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the Ashes after undergoing surgery on his long-standing Achilles tendon injury. Pietersen was assessed on Wednesday morning by a leading specialist, and the decision was made to undergo surgery which means he will miss up to six weeks.

The news comes as a massive blow to England's morale and momentum after a week in which they finally ended a 75-year jinx in beating Australia at Lord's, and so went 1-0 up in an Ashes series for the first time since 1997. Pietersen's contribution to the match was muted, with twin scores of 32 and 44, but it nevertheless took his career tally against Australia to a formidable 1116 runs in 12 Tests, at an average of 50.72.

England, however, will now have to make do without that prowess. ECB Chief Medical Officer, Nick Peirce, said: "Following a consultation, involving scans and testing, with the world's leading Achilles specialist, Kevin Pietersen today underwent surgery on his right Achilles tendon.

"The operation involved a small incision and trimming of the blood vessels and nerves around the inflamed tendon and appears, at this early stage, to have been routine. Kevin will look to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation programme to ensure there is no risk of recurrence. This is expected to be approximately six weeks but will be taken at an appropriate pace following constant review.

"Despite conventional conservative treatments to the tendon with trial periods of rest and rehabilitation, Kevin continued to be in significant discomfort and is currently unable to run or even walk comfortably. He had a strong desire to get through the Ashes series but despite this he has recently been unable to achieve a maximum level of performance.

"A number of short-term measures were considered but having been reviewed by the specialist, who flew into London from Sweden specifically, it was felt that anything else would put the tendon at risk and jeopardise his long-term recovery."

Pietersen said: "As an England cricketer the Ashes are the pinnacle of the game so I'm absolutely devastated to be missing the rest of this series.

"Up until now the Achilles injury has been manageable but it recently reached the point where we needed to look at other options in terms of treatment. I hate missing matches for England and especially during an Ashes summer but now that the decision has been made to undergo surgery I'm confident I can return to the England team injury-free following a course of rehabilitation.

"I was pleased with the previous course of treatment as it allowed me to take part in this Ashes series but unfortunately the injury has recently deteriorated. To leave a winning dressing room at this time is heart breaking but it wouldn't be fair to the team or myself to continue given the severity of the injury. I'll be supporting the team closely and wish them the best of luck as they look to build on the brilliant win at Lord's and reclaim the Ashes."

In Pietersen's absence, England are likely to offer a recall to Ian Bell, who was dropped in February after a run of low scores, but who has been in fine form for Warwickshire this season, with 640 runs at 80.00 before today, when he made 7 against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl.

"I am desperate to play," said Bell. "Having faced the Aussies before I know what to expect from them, and once you have appeared at Test level you want to carry on playing against the best players in the world."

The Australian camp maintained the line of the coach Tim Nielsen, who said on Tuesday he was not concerned by what was happening in England's squad. Shane Watson, the allrounder, said losing a key player like Pietersen "makes it very difficult".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by kingofspain on (July 24, 2009, 17:11 GMT)

I imagine KP made a few quid in the IPL and I surely don't begrudge him that but if he wants to be remembered as a great cricketer, he should consider that English and Australian supporters will always remember the result of this Ashes series but the people attending whatever meaningless IPL match he injured his Achillies in probably forgot the result before they left the ground.

And leosaqib- you're right to say he isn't as threatening as he was in 2005 but that is because of this injury.

Posted by mks1972 on (July 23, 2009, 12:29 GMT)

If Bell fails to make a mark in this series then I hope the England selector finally realise that Bell does not have temprament against the top teams. They should have learnt from Hick and Ramprakash that you need more than just talent

Posted by kingkarthik on (July 23, 2009, 12:25 GMT)

Wow, the English are sure good at something, that is being delusional. KP has apparently not carried his wait as per a large number of post in reference to this article. Well the English decision making capability and ability to understand a situation are legendary, they actually making looking like complete idoits as being perfectly acceptable and actually being something to be proud off. Since when did one match which your'll make it like your'll won the series without KP. Since when has 2 matches in a series been sufficient to judge a players contribution. After all he did score a half century in the first match, which ideally England should have lost. Need i remind you that when KP did go on leave for a match, the English right royally made fools of themselves by losing to Netherlands. Oh yeah, right, lets be in self denial like Ashes 2006/2007 when the behind was walloped 5 nil. First your'll picked on Flintoff stating he was not needed, now it is KP.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 23, 2009, 12:12 GMT)

Obviously it is big blow to lose Kp for the last 3 Tests, and were he fit and not limping it would be terrible. But as he is truly crocked I think he has done the right thing and can be fit for the winter. Reading some of the comments I am amazed at some people's attitudes about charismatic players.It sickens when people talk about KP's ego and they want a team of mediocre bores, gray men who do the right thing and lose every important game? Or are they disillusioned South Africans? Or just Aussies taking the mickey. It may not always be comfortable to have larger than life characters around but it sure as hell makes for better viewing.especially as he is the next best thing after Viv. As for Bell, lets hope the dropping has steeled him for the fight and he can make his massive talent count for more than 30-.

Posted by suzyparker on (July 23, 2009, 11:53 GMT)

The Fact is that the Aussies fear Pieterson as they do Flintoff. They will be jumping for joy if Bell plays because he won't win England a test, The Aussies know that KP can.

Posted by 200ondebut on (July 23, 2009, 11:36 GMT)

Anyone who would prefer to see KP out of the Engalnd side rather than in it is not a true England fan. Comments about him not being a team player make me laugh - they don't have a clue what they are talking about. The only people happy about KP being out of the side are the Aussies and the beer sellers.

Posted by JulesUK on (July 23, 2009, 9:05 GMT)

Some rubbish is being written by various "experts" about this.

We've just comfortably beaten the Aussies with KP on half power. A full power KP is a fantastic player, but the half power version is just an ordinary batsman like any other.

Posted by Halloway on (July 23, 2009, 8:15 GMT)

How much damage did Pietersen do to his Achilles tendon playing in the IPL? Once again Pietersen has put himself first and the England team second. I'm really pleased he won't be playing in the rest of the Ashes as it means that the England team will be able to pull together and play as a team. The rather muted reaction from other England supporter suggests to me that I am not the only one who thinks like this.

Posted by GOSMGR2 on (July 23, 2009, 6:29 GMT)

Not sure it's as big a blow for the team as is commonly thought.His likely replacement though,Bell, is in racing parlance an exposed horse.We know what he can do against the best attacks and he isn't going to win any test matches for England. I personally would look beyond him for KP's replacement. And why doesn't Collingwood bat at No3?

Posted by UMsholozi on (July 23, 2009, 6:11 GMT)

One Man's loss in another man's gain. Kevin Pietersen injury can only have a positive spin off for England. In the sense that Andy Flower will have a huge pool of players to chose from. Most importantly chose someone that will suit the English game plan. Pietersen's huge success has meant that he was becoming more of an icon. A man with his own game plan, which meant that Flower had to structure his game plan around Pietersen. His form also suggests that he was becoming a bit of a luxury to the side. In four innings, Pietersen has scored 153 runs [Cardiff 69 and 8, Lords 32 and 44]. This would suggest that the Australians had a game plan coming into this series. Its time for England to unleash new talent. They need to remind Pietersen that he is not irreplaceable.

Posted by LeoSaqib on (July 23, 2009, 6:07 GMT)

It may prove blessing in disguise.I don't think KP was as threatening to Aussies as he was in 2005, his contribution in Cardiff test were mediocre.England should show leave aside their usual rigid norms and take some courageous decisions, there is enough telent beyond Freddy and KP.In my opinion Tim Bresnan is perfect foil for Flintoff and is in great nick.Love,Bell ,Owais Shah,even Jon trott has enough experience and talent to be trusted.

Posted by kingkarthik on (July 23, 2009, 5:49 GMT)

Can the English fans please cut some slack to KP. It is always the British mentality to gush over unnecassary things and fuss over unnecassary things. The English team will not be where it is were it not for KP. Do the aristrocrats expect KP to fall down and play dead or roll over according to the whims and fancies of the public. Mark my words, Ian Bell is bound to be a failure..... One wonders why the british public seems overly eager to hound players such as Collingwood and KP... Oh yeah, that is right, they have guts, will fight for every inch, which is clearly not a British quality. The English would love to sit back in the chairs, sipping tea and expect the world to rotate around them. Had KP played for any other country, including South Africa, he would be treated well. One needs to only look to understand why England suck in all sports, cause they expect to win them without others having the right to challenge them.

Posted by leggetinoz on (July 23, 2009, 2:06 GMT)

Its a shame, i enjoy watching KP bat. I think this would have been an enormous blow had he not been struggling over the last two tests. If Flintoff goes than i think that would be a bigger issue as his bowling is the only bowling i feel the AUssies are uncomfortable against. As KP has been a shadow of his usual self i am not sure how bad a loss it will be. I don't really rate Ian Bell so as an Aussie im not worried to much there.

Posted by LukeTheDuke on (July 23, 2009, 0:04 GMT)

well as far as cricketing abilities go I think Ian Bell is good replacement but it needs to be seen if he has the heart and temprament to handle the pressre cooker situations. Though I am sure Aussies would bee happy to see bell walking to face them as oppose to KP.... But I feel this is the time for bell to stand up and be counted.. since if he fails it will take a long time for him to come back this time.. every body knows he has the ability and technique... but can he deliver ? that the question... England is hoping he does... and me too..

Posted by davidmoz on (July 22, 2009, 23:35 GMT)

On the BBC forum some people are saying KP isn't in form at the moment- he's averaging about 38 in the Ashes so far, which is pretty good (and higher than Cook, Bopara or Prior, who must all be 'out of form' then). I'm actually suprised England allowed him to have the surgery, maybe they've learned after years of playing Flintoff which he should have been rested or had operations, which has no doubt contributed to his retirement from Test cricket.

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (July 22, 2009, 23:35 GMT)

While this is certainly sad for Peterson, we should remember that, in the three victories England have had so far this summer, I think I'm right in saying Peterson hasn't reached fifty in any of them, so they do seem to be doing quite well without major contributions from him. All the same, I feel for him, as I do for Lee, Watson, etc.

Posted by ragsgullu on (July 22, 2009, 20:43 GMT)

I would not say it is a big blow for England but this could definitely help Australia. It always help when a player of his calibre is missing from the opposition. As far as England they are a confident team after the lord's victory. They have managed without significant contribution from kevin. His replacement Bell too is not a bad player by any means. This could be an ideal opportunity for him to seal a spot especially with Ravi not playing to the potential he displayed previously this year. So the next test is crucial for both teams with australia looking to bounce back and England looking for stability.

Posted by boris6491 on (July 22, 2009, 19:27 GMT)

Yes he is a good batsman but I agree with Tomjs100 in that it is not a massive blow. England do have other players who are doing the job and Bell has worked hard for a recall. Honestly, Pietersen hasn't done much of note in this series so far or looked like making the impact that his reputation boasts. To me, England's MVP is Collingwood and as long as hes up and running, the team morale won't sink enormously.

Posted by hassan10591 on (July 22, 2009, 18:29 GMT)

michael vaughan will now be regretting his decisoin to retire. he definitely should have been the man replacing KP.

Posted by hyperbole on (July 22, 2009, 18:06 GMT)

I agree with tomjs100; Flintoff not being available would be a far bigger blow. KP hasn't been in great form anyway; whilst I'm not the greatest Ian 'Bellie' Bell fan, who's to say that he won't get runs against what is one of the worst Australian attacks since Jeff Thomson bowled for the Aussies in 1985. KP wasn't even batting in the right position anyway, why isn't he at 3 for goodness sake? Then again, why is Bopara at 3, that's nonsense; as Ian Chappell commented, he's far too loose for that position. Just because England won at Lords, we are all getting way ahead of ourselves - AGAIN! England have serious problems, like Australia, though in different areas - no number 3, no KP, a compunction to literally cripple Flintoff, Broad is bleeding test wickets at 40 and whilst Prior is a decent number 6, he's a hopeless wicketkeeper

Posted by pochard on (July 22, 2009, 18:03 GMT)

'a massive blow to England's morale and momentum'? Nonsense.

Posted by CricketisMyPassion on (July 22, 2009, 17:42 GMT)

It is a mixed thing. While England is sure to miss KP's influential play at some point in the remaining 15 Test days, it is also a fact that he had not been in great form so far. A workhorse like Ian Bell can make up for KPs absence for the most part.

popcorn: Yes, it is true every major series sees a top player or two missing it. IF it is KP for Eng it is Lee for Aus.

Posted by RaghuramanR on (July 22, 2009, 17:02 GMT)

I am not at all convinced that Pietersen is a 'key player' and even Flintoff is more carried on by sentiment rather than actual skill. Yes, Pietersen CAN be a lot destructive but he is equally self-destructive :o There is no point in wasting talent which he does an awful lot of times. Australia may be happy about this because Australia in general are wary of attacking players like Pietersen. Strauss may be deceptive but he is actually more effective for England and this is very very important. I am not very gaga about Flintoff as well and glad that Flower was clear and frank about the same. Collingwood, Jimmy Anderson and more importantly, captain and opener Strauss are the real key in this Ashes. I think England will play much better now. Flintoff's intimidating element may be missing. I hope Swann continues from Lords and if it happens, then England can be pretty confident.

Posted by Kazzamers on (July 22, 2009, 16:57 GMT)

Pietersen c Achilles b IPL !! IPL Claims one more wicket !! Obviously, Pietersen should have got operated at IPL or world cup time,if he really cared about the Ashes. I do not think he really worried about Ashes and was prepared to dump it if needed. This sets the series nicely, an opportunity for Australia to come back !!

Posted by tomjs100 on (July 22, 2009, 16:36 GMT)

Massive blow? I disagree, Pietersen is the most up himself divisive player on the team. Time to build some team spirit not KP to be better than anyone and everyone.

Posted by vivek464 on (July 22, 2009, 16:30 GMT)

It is a big blow for England. He was looking very troubled in the Lord's Test. Hopefully Bell will be able to make up for the enormous loss. Cheers Vivek

Posted by popcorn on (July 22, 2009, 16:19 GMT)

EVERY Ashes Series has had one or two of the key players suffers an injury. Check it out. In 2005, Glenn McGrath. In 2006 -07, Michel Vaughan. In 2009,Kevin Pitersen and Brett Lee.But that's the way it is,nothing you can do about it.

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