West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has described the circumstances of his friend and rival Kevin Pietersen's enforced international retirement as "disrespectful".
Gayle is set to return from injury in Sunday's opening Twenty20 international against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
And he regrets that Pietersen will be absent after the England and Wales Cricket Board axed the 33-year-old from all future plans last month following the Ashes drubbing in Australia.
Gayle said: "I'm disappointed by the manner he had to bow out of international cricket. It's disrespectful.
"I don't know what happened behind closed doors...but for such a big player to actually go out like that, who has made such a big impact around the world, it's really sad.
"It's disrespectful, the way he had to go."
Gayle himself has had his own contract wrangles at times with the West Indies Cricket Board.
"It has been difficult for KP," he said. "From my point of view, I sat out for a year - and then things worked out and we're all getting along well.
"He's been so good in international cricket I'm sure he wants to represent his country.
"He has said he wants more than 10,000 Test runs, and to cut it like this is sad for him.
"I've just sent him a few text messages to say it is sad to see him go out in this way."
Gayle also joked about Pietersen earning a recall from England after Joe Root returned home due to injury.
He said: "I'm sure Pietersen is playing on Sunday. He's going to replace Joe Root.
"He's just waiting on a phone call. I hope the ECB will pick up the phone and give KP a call ... and he'll be here on Sunday playing in this game.
"If not, he'll definitely be missed. I'll be missing him personally, because he's an easy wicket for me!
"If I bowl to KP, I get him out easily, so I'm definitely going to miss him.
"I'm sure the fans are going to miss him as well, so I'll try to put on a display to entertain them."
Watch West Indies take on England in the opening T20 international live on Sky Sports 2HD at 6pm on Sunday.