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Warne: KP absence is a tragedy

Aussie legend calls for parties to sort out their differences

Kevin Pietersen: Dropped for the third Test for sending provacative texts

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Australia legend Shane Warne believes it is a 'tragedy' Kevin Pietersen did not play in England's third Test against South Africa at Lord's.

The South Africa-born right-hander was dropped after admitting sending 'provocative texts' criticising his England team-mates to friends in the Proteas camp, actions he has subsequently apologised for.

Warne, who is close friends with Pietersen, knows the 32-year-old will regret his behaviour, although he thinks there remains too strong an ego at the ECB.

"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," explained Warne.

"Strauss and Pietersen could have gone down the pub and had a beer. If they'd punched the absolute whatever out of each other to sort it out, so be it."

Shane Warne

Quotes of the week

"I'm sure he'd like to take back a few of his actions. There's a bit too much ego at the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board). 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."

Compromise

Warne insists Pietersen is a special player and both sides needed to reach a compromise.

"He has to commit to the team first and you have to also understand that some people need different things," he continued.

"The (English) cricket team, I think they've let Kevin Pietersen down - it shouldn't have gotten to this stage.

"If he doesn't sign his England contract, if he doesn't play for England again, I just think that's a tragedy.

"To me, the leadership of England, whether it be the selectors, ECB, coaching, captain - they have to put their hands up and say we haven't handled this as best we can.

"Kevin Pietersen has to put his hand up and say I've conducted myself in a pretty ordinary fashion too."

Differences

Warne has called for Pietersen and England captain Andrew Strauss to sort out their differences one way or another and quickly.

"Strauss and Pietersen could have gone down the pub and had a beer," he concluded. "If they'd punched the absolute whatever out of each other to sort it out, so be it.

"If you have to punch each other up around the corner, then do it - get it out of your system. Then come back, put your arm around each other and walk out to play together."

What is the key reason for England's series defeat to South Africa?

  • Poor batting
  • Poor bowling
  • Poor fielding
  • The KP saga
  • Better South Africa team