Andrew Strauss reveals: Felt let down by Kevin Pietersen
And his comments, in Saturday’s Daily Mail serialisation of his autobiography, ‘My Driving Ambition’ placed a question mark over his expressed interest in succeeding Hugh Morris as England’s new managing director of cricket — a position that would effectively mean he was Pietersen’s boss.
Strauss retired in August last year following England’s Test series loss to South Africa during which the generally good relations he enjoyed with Pietersen, the man he succeeded as captain, hit rock bottom.
The low points came following reports Pietersen, South Africa born and raised, had sent derogatory text messages to his friends in the Proteas’ dressing room regarding Strauss, including advice on how to dismiss the left-hander.
The texts became public after a drawn fourth Test in Leeds where Pietersen scored a superb 149 only to say it was “hard being me” in the England dressing room, with the fall-out seeing the gifted shotmaker dropped from the team that played the final Test against the Proteas.
Strauss, recalling his feelings, wrote: “The England cricket team are in crisis again. Coach Andy Flower and I have found ourselves in the middle of a destabilising and potentially damaging PR game between Kevin Pietersen, the England cricket team and the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board).
“I feel incredibly tired, as though I have simply run out of energy — I have nothing more to give. I am also wallowing in a rising tide of sadness. This is not the way I wanted my England career to end.
“I was dumfounded. I wasn’t all that bothered about him sending texts to a few South African players he knew quite well. I did, however, have issues with him criticising me to the opposition.
“That felt like talking out of school, not to mention giving the opposition a way to drive a wedge between Pietersen and myself and the team.”