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David Fulton: ECB have 'martyred' Kevin Pietersen with treatment of former England star

Cork: ECB have backed Cook

Kevin Pietersen's England career is over because he could not be trusted to support Alastair Cook

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David Fulton believes the ECB's treatment of Kevin Pietersen has martyred the former England batsman and insists its latest statement does nothing to end the saga.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement released on Sunday evening that Pietersen was axed because they could not trust him to give his full support to captain Alastair Cook.

But Fulton wants Cook, new ECB managing director Paul Downton and chairman Giles Clarke to speak directly to the media to answer further questions about the affair.

"There remain unanswered questions and it's incredibly frustrating," Fulton told Sky Sports. "Statements are all very well but what we want is Alastair Cook, Paul Downton and Giles Clarke in front of the media so they can be asked questions and we can hear what they have to say.

"The ECB has martyred Pietersen. His popularity has never been as great and by issuing statements it does look like to some extent like he has been scapegoated."

David Fulton

"The ECB has martyred Pietersen. His popularity has never been as great and by issuing statements it does look like to some extent like he has been scapegoated.

"But Andy Flower, Alastair Cook, Ashley Giles and Paul Downton are good men and they want to win cricket matches with England. They don't let someone of the class of Pietersen go without a good reason.

"I think the implication in a lack of trust is questioning whether Kevin Pietersen is leaking things (from team meetings).

"In a good team environment you can say what you like and point fingers and then you go forwards together. There's a collective responsibility. If trust exists, good teams can argue.

No-win situation

"I think Cook is in a no-win situation. I am sure he is desperate to speak on the matter."

Former England all-rounder Dominic Cork disagrees with Fulton and believes the matter should be put to bed.

Steve Harmison says Kevin Pietersen is a strong character but in the times he played alongside the batsman he never had a problem.

"The ECB believes that now is the time to move on and get players that are completely behind Cook and the new coach. I'm sure has Cook has been waiting for them to back him and they have finally done it," he said.

"I think now once and for all they have put this story to bed. This isn't just one issue. This isn't just down to one reaction in a team meeting. I think this has been an ongoing story from a long way back, from Peter Moores, from the Andrew Strauss 'textgate', from Andy Flower and the issues he had with him as head coach, now Cook, who remember backed him 100 percent with his reintegration into the England side.

"If you do not support your captain, if you don't get behind your captain, the team is nowhere. The ethics and philosophy of the side is lost.

"If you haven't got a player who is 100 percent behind the captain, there is no future in the side for that player, doesn't matter how good he is.

"The ECB bent over backwards throughout his career to accommodate the personality he is and the player he is. We are losing one of England's finest players, but it's time to move on."

Has the ECB made the right decision to end Kevin Pietersen's England career?

  • Yes
  • No

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