Pietersen axing is a tragedy, says Warne
KEVIN Pietersen’s rapid fall from grace in international cricket was completed on Tuesday when the controversial batsman was left out of the England squads for the Twenty20 World Cup and a one-day series against South Africa.
Pietersen was dropped for the third and final Test against South Africa at Lord’s last week after admitting to sending "provocative" text messages to opposing players.
England slipped to a 51-run defeat in the match, to lose the series 2-0 and concede the No1 Test ranking to their opponents in the process.
National selector Geoff Miller explained that Pietersen’s international future "was still being determined" so it was always unlikely the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were going to select him for the upcoming limited-overs events.
"Kevin Pietersen’s future involvement is still being determined and he was therefore not considered for selection in either squad," Miller said as the squads were announced.
The squad to face South Africa for the five one-day internationals also sees Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad rested ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next month.
Pietersen could have been selected for both squads, having reversed a decision to retire from all forms of international limited-overs cricket, at which he was one of the key players when England won the last global 20-over event two years ago.
The one-day series starts in Cardiff on Friday and continues with matches at Southampton, The Oval, Lord’s and Trent Bridge.
All players in the 14-man one-day series squad "were involved in the recent series victory against Australia", Miller said. "We will be looking for this side to build on the recent success we have had and to show further signs of improvement against a strong South African side.
"Stuart Broad has an important period coming up leading our T20 side and, with a three-match series followed closely by the (World Cup), we feel a two-week break from cricket is in the best interests of both Stuart and the team."
In Broad’s absence Alastair Cook will captain the one-day side.
Meanwhile, Australian spin great Shane Warne said on Tuesday that Pietersen’s removal from the England cricket team was a tragedy for both player and country.
"Kevin will be one of the first people to admit that he’s acted in a way that’s been a bit silly and stupid," Warne said.
"I’m sure he’d like to take back a few of his actions. There’s a bit too much ego at the ECB. There’s no give or take or compromise.
"Both sides are at fault. The bottom line is Kevin Pietersen is not playing international cricket, which is a tragedy."
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