Kevin Pietersen apology: too little too late?
Kevin Pietersen has released an apology to captain Andrew Strauss and the ECB, after sending texts to the opposition criticising his captain’s ability and certain members of his team and coaching staff.
Despite this he had already been dropped from the last test against his native country South Africa. England cricket managing director Hugh Morris stated: “In the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lord’s Test.” Pietersen responded in a personal statement with: “To say I am gutted is an understatement.”
He also added how the saga has been tough on himself and others: “The fact is: I love England and I love cricket. This entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family. However, none of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer.”
It has been a tough six months for KP who had disappointed many with his retirement from the shorter forms of the game in late May, before announcing his intention to quit all three forms of international cricket after the South Africa series in early August.
After these reports, KP made a shock turn-around five days later to announce his commitment to all forms of England cricket. However, this gave no confidence to the England selectors after information regarding “derogatory” text messages about team-mates were sent to South African players.
South Africa has claimed the texts were all in good “banter” and has not made any contact to the ICC over the texts. Despite this, England has asked Pietersen personally for an apology over the messages.
Past England players have admitted that it may be a long wait for a return to the England set-up, with the ruthless England selectors who will cut players if they are lacking in form or enthusiasm.
The third and final test against South Africa at Lord’s will be Andrew Strauss’ 100th and it will need to be a winning performance in order to level the series.
England Squad for third Test:
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex, wk), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire).
Stuart Banfield, Cricket correspondent