England 'better for having Kevin Pietersen out' claims Nick Knight

 

Nick Knight has risked a further deterioration in his already frosty relationship with Kevin Pietersen, by claiming England are likely to be better off without the latter in 50-over cricket.

Pietersen was fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board last month for questioning, via his Twitter feed, Knight's credentials as a Sky Test match commentator.

He subsequently stunned the cricket world by announcing his retirement from all limited-overs internationals.

Knight, himself a former England batsman and a notably successful one in the one-day international format, revisited previous critiques of Pietersen while broadcasting on the washed-out first day of the third Investec Test at Edgbaston.

"England's 50-over side will be slightly better for having Kevin Pietersen out, because it has not been his bag," he said.

"The recent two to three years have shown his returns have been well below the expectations for him. He has finished with two hundreds [against Pakistan in UAE], but generally he has been below par."

Pietersen scored more than 4,000 ODI runs at an average just above 41 - including a run of three hundreds in six matches at the start of his career, against his native South Africa, as well as those two match-winning centuries in his final two innings.

Knight added: "It is a brave thing to say because the obvious talent is there.

"I have looked at the statistics, and they do not add up - so you ask why and look deeper into it.

"I think he is right to say he has had enough and move on.

"That is why I think England are in a better position going forward, because they will have 11 players who are right behind one-day cricket."

There was no response to Knight's latest remarks from Pietersen on Twitter last night.

PA

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