Kevin Pietersen retires from one-day and T20 internationals.posted under: England | All news
English batsman Kevin Pietersen’s turbulent relationship with the English and Wales Cricket Board has taken one of its most shocking turns yet, with the batsman announcing retirement from one-day and Twenty20 internationals.
According to a cricket website, he was quoted saying, “After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I am today announcing my retirement from international one-day cricket. With the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, approaching 32, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the ICC World Cup in 2015.”
Speaking about his career, KP said, “I am immensely proud of my achievements in the one-day game, and still wish to be considered for selection for England in Test cricket.” He added expressing his concerns over the ECB’s selection criteria, “For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have decided that centrally contracted players must make themselves available for both limited over formats or neither and, with no compromise possible, it was announced that Pietersen would continue as a Test specialist only.
It means that Pietersen, who has 127 ODI and 36 T20 caps to his name, is out of the short format game, after hitting back-to-back centuries in his last two ODIs against Pakistan.
With the absence of any reaction from team director Andy Flower, England cricket’s managing director Hugh Morris offered the ECB’s take on events, thanking Pietersen and his efforts on behalf of the organization. He talked about Pietersen’s 4184 runs at 41.84 in ODI cricket and 1176 runs at 37.93 in the 20-overs game, but made little effort to hide his displeasure of Pietersen’s announcement this close to England’s World Twenty20 title defense.
“ECB is disappointed by the timing of Kevin’s decision less than four months before we defend our ICC World Twenty20 title,” a website has quoted Morris.
“Kevin is a world-class player and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts and we look forward to his continued contributions to the Test match side.”
Explaning the ECB’s decision not to consider Pietersen for Twenty20, despite his willingness to play, Morris added, “As the programming and planning for ODI and T20 format cricket are very closely linked we have a selection policy that means that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats, rules himself out of consideration for both formats. The selectors will now replace Kevin in both the ODI and T20 squads.”
This ruling had not been explicitly acknowledged by the ECB before, with the last senior man to retire from ODIs being Andrew Strauss, who was already out of the T20 scene.
Pietersen has found himself at the centre of several awkward situations since debuting in 2004, but this is by far the most serious. Being of South African origin, he was initially viewed as an ‘outsider’ by purists. What was worse was when he visited South Africa, the crowds there ‘booed’ him and called him ‘traitor’. Off late, Pietersen's ‘switch-hit’ has been debated as well. Man of the tournament when England won the World Twenty20 in the West Indies two years ago, he wanted to defend that status in Sri Lanka later this year but that offer was declined by the board.
He infamously ended his brief stint as national captain after a rift with then coach Peter Moores became public knowledge in early 2009 and has been involved in other situations since then. He was left out of England’s one-day squad for the first time due to poor form in 2010 – a decision he inadvertently announced on Twitter, garnished with a bit of unparliamentary language. Another Tweet, criticizing TV commentator Nick Knight earned him a fine of between £2,000 and £3,000. He also drew veiled criticism from Flower after leaving last year’s World Cup with an injury England medics believed was manageable.
But none of these situations has ever resulted in England losing one of its star performers and the aftermath of today’s news will only be felt when the team touches down in Colombo to defend the only ICC global trophy they have ever won.