Kevin Pietersen has revealed his “disappointment” at being left out of the England Test squad to tour India.
Pietersen was omitted from a 16-man touring party this morning, the latest indication from the England and Wales Cricket Board that he faces a long road back before he represents his adopted country again.
Without Pietersen, England have called up two uncapped batsmen — Joe Root and Nick Compton — to help fill the vacancies left not only by him but by the retirement of former captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen responded by releasing a statement, via his agents Mission Sports Management, to clarify his position after a summer of contract wrangles which culminated in his omission from both the Lord’s Test and then England’s squad which will imminently defend the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
It read: “Kevin Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today’s decision, having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB.”
In it, he also sought to set the record straight over the “provocative” text messages he sent to opposition South Africa players during the Headingley Test — in which there were allegations he made “derogatory” references to Strauss.
The statement continued: “Pietersen has met with — and apologised to — Andrew Strauss. “He has also met with Alastair Cook to stress his commitment to England and met with ECB board members, including face-to-face meetings with Hugh Morris, David Collier and Andy Flower, prior to his departure to Sri Lanka.
“At all times, Pietersen had wished his dealings with the ECB to remain private so as not to inflame an already difficult situation.
“His recent silence was not an admission of any wrong-doing; he wanted to explain and apologise to the ECB for the messages exchanged with members of the South African team.
“He has also made absolutely clear both to the ECB and the England team that — despite unsubstantiated allegations to the contrary and repeated media speculation — he did not offer any tactical advice to the South Africans.
“Pietersen remains available for England.”
Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Comptonn, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
KP’s last India tour
>> 4 & 1: Chennai Test, 2008
>> 144: Mohali Test, 2008