Kevin Pietersen: Questions remain over sudden axeing of batsman after national selector James Whitaker refuses to reveal the reasons behind decision

Pietersen's England career was brought to an end after the ECB confirmed he would no longer be considered for the national team

Rory Dollard
Friday 07 February 2014 09:55
Kevin Pietersen played over 100 tests for England
Kevin Pietersen played over 100 tests for England

England began life after Kevin Pietersen with a refusal to offer any new detail about his controversial axeing and a new-look World Twenty20 squad.

National selector James Whitaker appeared at Headingley to name England's 15-man party for the tournament in Bangladesh - and a marginally expanded group for the the earlier tour of West Indies - but Pietersen's shadow loomed large.

Whitaker, on his first public appearance since taking over from Geoff Miller, came to talk about maiden call-ups for Worcestershire batsman Moeen Ali and Lancashire spinner Stephen Parry - perhaps even about uncapped Nottinghamshire seamer Harry Gurney, who joins his fellow rookies in the Caribbean but not at the World T20.

Instead, during two pre-recorded broadcast interviews on Thursday, he was invited to elaborate on the brief press release that signalled the end of Pietersen's international career.

"That is a legal position and at the moment I'm not at liberty to say," he told Sky Sports News, giving credence to reports of a confidentiality agreement between Pietersen and the ECB.

Whitaker's phone interrupted his train of thought, but when he resumed his answer, it was no more enlightening.

"Unfortunately I'm not in a position to reiterate what reasons there have been," he said.

After repeated calls for the board to give a full explanation behind Pietersen's culling, with some of the calls coming from senior figures in the game, the most revealing Whitaker got was an admission that it had "been a tricky decision".

The former Leicestershire stalwart, who won a single Test cap in 1986, did talk more freely about the future without Pietersen.

Moeen can be expected to play a part in that, having effectively filled Pietersen's spot in the squad, while slow left-armer Parry has been given a glorious chance to prove himself following Graeme Swann's retirement.

The England team they come into, according to Whitaker, will be concerned with renewing their cricketing philosophy as much as their team-sheet.

"What I can say is this is a group of players who can look forward to re-energising the team going forward with different values, (to) re-evaluate the culture of the team," he said.

"Any team has certain values, sometimes written down, sometimes just forms of communication that good teams adhere to.

"Good teams will carry forward with them and England, over the last four or five years, have shown these good values.

"Over time they can dissipate a little but now is a good time to rewrite those values.

"The one-day international team and the England Twenty20 team has played a number of matches over the last 12 months or so without Kevin and, on occasion, performed very well, and I would hope that's the case going forward."

England squad for one-day and Twenty20 tour of the Caribbean and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh:

S Broad (Nottinghamshire, capt), E Morgan (Middlesex), M Ali (Worcestershire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), J Buttler (Lancashire), J Dernbach (Surrey), H Gurney (Nottinghamshire)*, A Hales (Nottinghamshire), C Jordan (Sussex), M Lumb (Nottinghamshire), S Parry (Lancashire), J Root (Yorkshire), B Stokes (Durham), J Tredwell (Kent), L Wright (Sussex).

*Only selected for Caribbean tour. Will return home before World Twenty20.

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