'Devastated' Kevin Pietersen ruled out of World Cup

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The Independent Online

England today bade farewell to one matchwinning batsman and welcomed another after the International Cricket Council approved Eoin Morgan's return to the World Cup squad in place of Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen, who had been building a new opening partnership with captain Andrew Strauss at the tournament, did not join his team-mates on the journey from Chennai to Chittagong after it was decided he needed to undergo surgery on a troublesome hernia complaint.



Pietersen has been struggling with the problem for some time but the England hierarchy felt he could play a major part in the competition if it was managed by the medical team.



Those hopes have not been realised and, after bowling eight overs of spin in the dramatic win over his native South Africa, Pietersen appeared to labour in the field, leading to a re-evaluation of his condition.



England then asked for permission to draft Morgan back into the side, having previously replaced the Irishman with Ravi Bopara due to a broken finger.







Morgan is the second player to be restored to a 15-man squad in the tournament having previously pulled out through injury, following Australia's Mike Hussey.



England team director Andy Flower conceded that Pietersen would be a miss but welcomed the chance to restore Morgan to his side as the middle-order 'finisher'.



"He (Pietersen) is a world class player,"' Flower told Sky Sports News.







"I thought he was forming an interesting opening partnership with Andrew Strauss. In three of the four games they've played together they have looked good up front and they put on significant partnerships that have kicked off good batting performances.



"He's got a problem and I've seen the scan myself. It's a problem that he has been dealing with for a number of weeks now so he has got to go and get that sorted out and hopefully he will be ready for the first Test gainst Sri Lanka in the English summer.



"We're moving on now and Eoin Morgan is an exciting cricketer. It's going to be good to have him back."



Pietersen had earlier revealed he was "absolutely devastated" to be returning home from the World Cup and missing the subsequent Indian Premier League.



It had already been confirmed that Pietersen would undergo hernia surgery after the tournament, but he appeared laboured in the field during yesterday's six-run win against South Africa, despite bowling eight overs.



Pietersen wrote on his Twitter page this morning: "Confirming the BREAKING NEWS ... I fly home tonight. Out of the WC & IPL.. Absolutely devastated!



"Sad to leave India...Love the people & the hospitality!"

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