Pietersen dropped for final Test

Left out after failing to meet ECB's demands over text messages

Last Updated: 12/08/12 7:04pm

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Kevin Pietersen: replaced by Jonathan Bairstow in England squad for Lord's Test

Kevin Pietersen: replaced by Jonathan Bairstow in England squad for Lord's Test

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England have dropped Kevin Pietersen for the final Test at Lord's against South Africa.

Yorkshire's Jonathan Bairstow has been recalled in a 13-man squad in place of Pietersen, whose involvement has been in doubt throughout a controversial week.

It appears that, despite Pietersen's "change of heart" on Sunday night and commitment to make himself available again for England in all formats, a sticking point remained over the content of text messages he reportedly sent to opposition players during the drawn Headingley Test.

England's selectors delayed the naming of their squad until 2.30pm on Sunday to allow Pietersen extra time to publicly declare he did not send "derogatory texts" to the South African team.

U-turn

Pietersen arranged an interview, broadcast on Saturday night, in which he made it clear he had seen the error of his ways and had decided playing cricket for England was more important than other issues.

But crucially, he did not address the matter of texts he reportedly sent during the draw at Headingley - which have been portrayed in some quarters as being critical of his own team and/or management.

"During the past week we have held several discussions with Kevin Pietersen and his advisors," said England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris.

"Following a constructive meeting it was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room.

"A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. This has not been forthcoming despite clear timelines being set to allow the selectors to pick the squad for the third Test match.

"We provided an additional six hours this morning to provide every opportunity for agreement to be reached but regrettably this has not been possible.

Unity

"The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust. Whilst we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected we have sadly had to conclude that, in the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lord's Test."
Hugh Morris Quotes of the week

"The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust. Whilst we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected we have sadly had to conclude that, in the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lord's Test."

National selector Geoff Miller added: "We need a squad fully focused on this Test match to be able to play the sort of cricket we know is necessary if we are to win this week and level the series.

"The second Test was a marked improvement on our performance at the start of the series but we are aware we will need to play some very good cricket this week if we are to level this series.

"While there were positives to take from a number of areas at Headingley we know we will need to show further improvement if we are win at Lord's. There is plenty of international experience amongst this squad and they will all be determined to play to their full potential this week."

England trail 1-0 in the series and need a victory at Lord's, starting on Thursday, to retain top spot in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings.

Bairstow made his Test debut against West Indies at the start of the summer, averaging 12.66 in the three-match series.

He was then dropped for Ravi Bopara for the series opener against South Africa, and again overlooked by the selectors in favour of James Taylor when Bopara withdrew from the second Test for personal reasons.

England squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex) Steven Finn (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex),, Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

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