Pietersen - It's not the end

Batsman remains committed to England after being dropped

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

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KP left out of England squad

Sky Bet

Kevin Pietersen has released a statement confirming his commitment to England after being dropped for the third Test against South Africa.

The selectors omitted Pietersen from England's 13-man squad for the must-win final Test against South Africa and replaced him with Jonathan Bairstow.

Pietersen had hoped his commitment to make himself available again for England in all three formats would ensure he was selected to face his native country in his 89th Test match.

However, the absence of a public assurance from him that there was no "derogatory" content about his own team in text messages he reportedly sent to South Africa players during the drawn second Test at Headingley was apparently the last straw after a vexed summer of contract wrangles with his employers at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"This entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family," Pietersen said in a statement.

"However, none of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer."

In an interview released on YouTube on Saturday night, Pietersen spoke of looking forward to joining England's bid for a series-levelling victory at Lord's.

Gutted

But on Sunday he admitted: "Naturally, I'm hugely disappointed that the ECB have decided not to select me. To say I'm gutted is an under-statement."

The 32-year-old played one of his best innings - a man-of-the-match 149 - in the drawn second Test at Headingley, where he also became the quickest batsman in history to top 7,000 runs.

"Naturally, I'm hugely disappointed that the ECB have decided not to select me. To say I'm gutted is an under-statement."
Kevin Pietersen Quotes of the week

But he left Leeds under a cloud after a post-match press conference in which he hinted at dressing-room unrest and refused to give assurances that Lord's Test would not be his last appearance.

"I had an emotional time at Headingley, and the video I released was my way to bring closure to the issues I had at that time," he said in response to his omission.

"I stand by every word I said in that video. The fact is I love England, and I love cricket. I wish the team, and Straussy in particular, every success next week."

It had emerged during a controversial few days - even by Pietersen's standards - that he was perturbed by a parody Twitter account and the possibility that his team-mates might somehow be associated with the tone, sending up his personality and behaviour.

The account was closed down. But a further revelation, that Pietersen sent texts to opposition players in the thick of a high-profile series, appears to be the one that truly undermined his attempts at reconciliation with ECB management.

Despite his subsequent statement of intent to carry on, the text issue is one he has still to address.

After a summer dominated by the saga of Pietersen's contract issues with the ECB since his shock retirement from limited-overs international cricket at the end of May, it seems he did too little too late to convince his employers they can still trust him as they must in the team environment.

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