Kevin Pietersen: Graeme Swann left 'baffled' by enforced international retirement of star batsman after 'exceptional' tour Down Under

Swann admits he was not Pietersen's biggest fan after the 2012 Textgate scandal but says his opinion was changed after his improvement in his attitude during the ill-fated tour of Australia

Graeme Swann admits he was “baffled” by England's decision to dump Kevin Pietersen and says he witnessed nothing on the Australia tour to indicate why the superstar batsman has been cast aside now.

Pietersen's international career was effectively brought to a close on Tuesday night when he was omitted from the upcoming tour of the Caribbean and ICC World Twenty20, with the 33-year-old all but conceding in a joint statement that it was the end of the line for him with England.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's decision has come in for plenty of criticism, with many pundits and ex-players also calling for an explanation as to why the country's record runscorer across all formats will no longer be part of the team.

Swann, who retired from all cricket midway through England's nightmare tour Down Under, is unable to shed any light on the matter either and admits he cannot understand why Pietersen has been jettisoned now, after seeing what he felt was an improved attitude from the controversial batsman since his 'reintegration' back into the squad.

Pietersen was dropped from the side in the summer of 2012 after sending provocative text messages about then captain Andrew Strauss to South African players.

Writing in his column in The Sun, Swann said: "I'll be honest about Kevin Pietersen - myself and several other England players were not exactly members of his fan club during the Textgate scandal of 2012.

"But I changed my opinion of him once he was reintegrated back into the England team towards the end of that year.

"He made a huge effort to improve his attitude around the dressing room. I saw or heard no issues with him in Australia this winter, his approach was exceptional.

"That's why I was baffled on Tuesday when he was effectively sacked as an England player."

The former spinner added: "Looking back, I could understand if Kevin's career with England had finished after Textgate. But to go through the reintegration process and then, just 15 months later, discard him for good seems very strange.

"Clearly, Kevin must have upset people enough for the England hierarchy to decide he is no longer wanted. Don't forget we're not talking about a middling player here - we're talking about a batsman of sublime talent.

"As I say, I saw nothing while I was on the Ashes tour. His approach was spot-on.

"Until the powers that be shed some light on the situation we are left only with conjecture and rumour.

"I'm sure every cricket fan would like to know more detail because Kevin is the player more than any other who puts bums on seats.

"Let's hear the truth so all the speculation disappears."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test