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James Whitaker refuses to elaborate on Kevin Pietersen's England axing

Whitaker - Tricky decision to remove Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen: James Whitaker coy over batsman's omission

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National Selector James Whitaker refused to elaborate on the specific reasons behind Kevin Pietersen's omission after unveiling the England squad for the tour of the West Indies and the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

England have decided to move on without experienced batsman Pietersen and Whitaker has backed the team to be successful without him.

The decision to end Pietersen's England career was made earlier this week following meetings between new ECB managing director Paul Downton, limited-overs coach Ashley Giles and Test captain Alastair Cook.

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There were rumours of breaches of team discipline and ethics by Pietersen on the disastrous tour of Australia this winter but Whitaker is keeping his cards close to his chest.

When asked why Pietersen had been omitted, Whitaker told Sky Sports News: "That is a legal position and at the moment I am not at liberty to say.

"But what I can say is that there is a group of players there looking forward to re-energising this team, going forward with different values and re-evaluating the culture of the team.

"It will start in the West Indies and I have every confidence in the players and the management group that takes the team to the West Indies that it will happen.

Values

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"Any team has certain values - sometimes written down, sometimes they are just forms of communication - that good teams adhere to and that good teams will carry forward with them, and England over the past four or five years have shown these values.

"Over time they can dissipate a little bit but now we believe is the right time to re-write those values and whoever is involved in the management group and the players will do that.

"They will continue to communicate it and I believe it starts from smart work; it starts from winning back the country's perception of what the cricket team is about.

"We want to see a pride back in the cricket and I believe that the players we select will show that to the country. I believe that performances can get better.

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"Sometimes when performances go against us you have to re-evaluate what is going on. No one is really privy to what goes on within the intricacies of a team working, but we have to review various conversations with people and make decisions."

Surprise

Whitaker is confident that England will perform well in the Caribbean and at the World Twenty20 despite being without one of their leading batsmen over the last few years.

He added: "We would always review our options of players available to play for England. I am happy we have selected a really good group of players that can help us perform well in the West Indies and Bangladesh.

"The ODI team and the England T20 team has played a number of matches over the last 12 months or so without Kevin, and on occasions performed very well, so we would hope that that's still going to be the case going forward.

"Yes, while it is a surprise going into an ICC competition without one of our leading run scorers, the players and the management group are well rehearsed in coping without him.

"So yes in a way it was a tricky decision but in another way it gives opportunities for players to play in that environment and excel in it."

You can watch a Sky Sports cricket special 'KP - The Great Innings' - on Thursday night at 8.30pm and also a 30 minute live show at noon on Sunday: 'KP - The Verdict' - both on Sky Sports 2HD. The shows will also be available via On Demand.

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

  • Yes
  • No

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