Nasser Hussain says England's young guns must grab their chance to shine at the ICC World Twenty20 in the absence of Kevin Pietersen.
England begin the defence of the title they won under Paul Collingwood in 2010 on Friday when they take on Afghanistan in Colombo in Group A.
Pietersen hopes to return to the England fold in time for the tour of New Zealand early next year after being excluded from this winter's trip to India after he sent 'provocative texts' to South African players this summer.
While Hussain admits the 32-year-old will be missed, he's urged the likes of Alex Hales, 23, and Jos Buttler, 22, to fill the void with runs.
"No-one does it quite like Kevin Pietersen does," said Hussain. "He was the man of the tournament in the Caribbean, so he's a standout player - but we've seen in all forms of the game that people have come in and done well: [Jonny] Bairstow in Test matches, [Ian] Bell in the one-dayers, Hales and Buttler in Twenty20.
"No-one is irreplaceable; these young players have been given their chance and they must take it."
New Test captain Alastair Cook plans to hold more meetings with Pietersen, plus the ECB's managing director Hugh Morris and chief executive David Collier during the ICC World Twenty20, in a bid to smooth the waters.
But Hussain believes finding a solution may be easier said than done, particularly as Pietersen's central contract expires at the end of this month giving him the option of playing for the duration of next year's IPL.
"Kevin is in the studio every day - so they'll have to wait to wait until he is off air because he's working for ESPN," said the former England captain.
"I've said all along that Kevin has done a lot of wrong in the last year but everyone deserves a second chance; this can't go on forever.
"Kevin needs to realise that English cricket has done a lot for him and all of the deals and everything you get off the field are driven by playing for England.
"World cricket needs to look at this so that these types of issues don't arise with young players around the world because - believe me - if the IPL is around there will be more stories like this down the line."
Meanwhile England's focus is trained on their opening World Twenty20 fixture against an Afghanistan side that on Wednesday gave India enough of a scare - before losing by 23 runs - to suggest they should not be underestimated.
"England will know that anything can happen in this form of the game so they won't take Afghanistan lightly - especially after the way Afghanistan played against India," said Hussain.
"Afghanistan have got to see this as a 'no fear' game; the only side that has something to lose is England, the holders. If they lose to Afghanistan that is a massive blow and it puts Sunday's game against India into the major category.
"I don't think England will slip - I think they'll be too good - but you shouldn't take any opposition lightly in this form of the game."
England could go into the match with three spinners - Graeme Swann, Danny Briggs and Samit Patel - but Hussain said that bringing in seamer Steven Finn would be a better option if the match is played on a new strip at the Premadasa Stadium.
"If they play on the same pitch as two games have already been played on, then it might well turn and you look at playing the likes of Briggs, Patel and Swann.
"But if it's a fresh pitch - as it was the other day when Australia's Shane Watson got the ball through against Ireland - there could be a bit of bounce and carry, in which case I would look at the playing the extra quickie against Afghanistan and use the short ball a lot more.
"Afghanistan don't play the short ball particularly well because they don't see a lot of it and I reckon Finn up front in particular could test a lot of their batsmen."
You can see England against Afghanistan live from 2.30pm on Friday on Sky Sports 1 HD.