• Cricket

Nick Knight stokes Pietersen feud

ESPN staff
June 8, 2012

Nick Knight has risked another row with Kevin Petersen after saying that England's one-day squad will be stronger without the batsman.

Pietersen announced his retirement from one-day international cricket ahead of the third Test with the West Indies at Edgbaston, a move that also spelt the end of his international Twenty20 career.

And while most commentators have lamented the loss of Pietersen from the ODI scene, Sky Sports pundit Knight has backed England to thrive without the 31-year-old.

"England's 50-over side will be slightly better for having Kevin Pietersen out because it has not been his bag," Knight said.

"The recent two to three years have shown his returns have been well below the expectations for him. He has finished with two hundreds [against Pakistan in the UAE], but generally he has been below par."

Knight, a former England batsman and now a pundit for Sky Sports, unwittingly earned Pietersen a £3,000 fine from the ECB after the South Africa-born batsman took to Twitter to slam Knight's appearance in the commentary box.

"Can somebody PLEASE tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for the home Tests?? RIDICULOUS!!" tweeted Pietersen.

Knight, whose own England career thrived in one-day internationals while failing to shine at Test level, believes England are in a better position when fielding players committed to the format, and as such backs Pietersen's decision.

Knight added: "It is a brave thing to say because the obvious talent is there. I have looked at the statistics and they do not add up, so you ask why and look deeper into it.

"I think he is right to say he has had enough and move on. That is why, I think, England are in a better position going forward, because they will have 11 players who are right behind one-day cricket."

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