Change of England captain may not save Kevin Pietersen

 

There remains the Pietersen Affair to resolve. Andrew Strauss was adamant yesterday that his relationship with the discarded batsman had played no part in his decision to retire but Kevin Pietersen continues to cast a shadow over everything that happens in English cricket.

Pietersen was inevitably mentioned early in the proceedings as Strauss left the Test captaincy and Alastair Cook replaced him. His exile from the national side continues because talks still have to take place about the precise nature of texts he sent to England's opponents, South Africa, some of which contained disparaging comment about Strauss.

But there is the wider subject of his relationship with the rest of the team and that has probably not been eased by Strauss's departure. Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, said: "Myself and Andy Flower will be seeking to meet with Kevin to discuss where we are at the moment. We'll be doing that in due course behind closed doors."

Strauss, who will not now be involved in the discussions, said nothing had changed since the third Test against South Africa last week. "It's hard to speculate at this stage how that process will end," he said. The interpretation of that is probably that it could still also end in Pietersen's departure.

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