• Cricket

Strauss backs Pietersen non-Test retirement

ESPN staff
June 7, 2012

Andrew Strauss has backed Kevin Pietersen's decision to retire from one-day international cricket, but hopes that the England batsman will not regret his decision further down the line.

The England Test captain hinted at the strains that Pietersen's decision had caused behind the scenes as he attempted to continue playing international Twenty20 cricket and his relief that the matter is now resolved.

"I truly believe everyone has the right to determine whether they want to play a certain form of the game," Strauss told the Mirror.

"Kevin has made that decision and we all respect it. He went into it with his eyes open, he knew what the situation was and what the ramifications were, and we're all just looking forward now."

Like Pietersen, Strauss bowed out of the shorter forms of the game to extend his Test career, but was not agrieved by the ECB ruling that required him to end both his one-day and Twenty20 careers.

Pietersen had intended to continue playing T20 cricket before being told that he must withdraw from both short forms of the game, under the terms of his central contract.

"The schedules are hard and if you've got a young family and you've been playing for quite a long time, it's quite hard to keep yourself fresh enough mentally. He has made that decision and I feel it's worked pretty well for me, but you've got to be ready to do it," Strauss added.

"The most important thing is that mentally you understand that you're giving away a certain part of the game. If you're not ready to do it, then it can eat away at you. Certainly in my case, that wasn't the case."

Pietersen has stated his ambition to reach 10,000 Test runs for England, a feat Strauss believes is well within the mercurial batsman's sights, starting with the third Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston.

"I still think he's got a hell of a lot more cricket left in him for England, I think he's in good form at the moment which is fantastic to see and I don't think his decision affects anything with the Test team," he noted.

"From a team point of view I think we're all keen to move forward from the decision that he has made."

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