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Kevin Pietersen's England Exile Absurd: Matthew Hayden

21 December, 2014 11:53 AM
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Kevin Pietersen's England Exile Absurd: Matthew Hayden

Kevin Pietersen's central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was terminated in February.

London: Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden has batted for Kevin Pietersen and described England's decision to continually overlook the star batsman as "ludicrous".

"It's ludicrous Kevin Pietersen is not in the England squad. It's just crazy. World Cups are won on innovative batting," Hayden, who scored 8,625 runs in 103 Test matches, said Sunday.

The 43-year-old Hayden's criticism follows England's decision to drop Alastair Cook and appoint Eoin Morgan as the captain for the 2015 World Cup starting Feb 14 in Australia and New Zealand.

Pietersen tweeted his approval of the move, saying: "Great news that @Eoin16 is new England 1-day captain. Top player, leader and bloke. Hope I get to play for him."

England, though, have not selected him since last winter's 0-5 Ashes whitewash.

After releasing him from his central contract, ECB managing director Paul Downton said that Pietersen had appeared "disinterested" and "distracted" during the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Downton also claimed he was unable to find a single person who wanted the batsman to stay in the England side. The ECB and Downton later apologised for the remarks.

Asked about whether Pietersen may be recalled following Morgan's promotion to captain, Downton said: "We parted company with Kevin because throughout the ECB management, from the dressing room up to the board, it was felt that it was the right decision to go in a slightly different direction."

In Pietersen's book, which was published in October, he claimed there was a "bullying culture" within the England team. He said former coach Andy Flower "ruled by fear" and former wicketkeeper Matt Prior was a disruptive influence on the team.

"If anything, more bridges have been burned by Kevin's book. There is no interest from our point of view in going backwards," added Downton.

"We've got an exciting group of young players and Eoin's excited to be working with those guys. He wants to fulfil that team's potential."

Pietersen is currently playing for Melbourne Stars in the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 competition, and hit 66 off 46 balls in their opening defeat to Adelaide Strikers.


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