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Flower fears Pietersen may regret decision to quit ODIs

ESPN staff
June 12, 2012

England coach Andy Flower has revealed he desperately tried to convince Kevin Pietersen not to retire from one-day international cricket.

Flower believes Pietersen's decision to retire from 50-over and Twenty20 cricket is a huge loss for the England side.

"When Kevin told me he wanted to retire from one-day cricket I must have had three or four subsequent meetings with him where I tried to dissuade him from doing so," Flower told BBC's Test Match Special.

"I think it's really sad he won't be playing all three forms of the game. He's in incredible form - technically, he's excellent."

Pietersen has made it clear that he would have liked to have continued playing Twenty20 cricket, but under the terms of his contract with the ECB, he was forced to quit both forms of the game.

The South African-born batsman is hopeful the policy can be relaxed in order for him to play in the Twenty20 World Cup, but Flower is adamant that Pietersen should not be able to pick and choose.

"All the players and the players' representatives signed up to that," Flower said. "You can't choose between one of the limited-overs formats - it's there in black and white.

"Kevin is very clear that he doesn't want to play one-day cricket anymore, so that makes him unavailable for Twenty20 cricket. That's an ECB policy. The reason for that policy is that 50-over cricket is an integral part of ECB strategy. England have never won a 50-over World Cup, and we are very hungry to do so.

"The board is also very concerned about setting the right precedent. If you set a precedent whereby players can pick and choose between the limited-over forms, they are worried about five or six players doing a similar thing.

"This would degrade limited-overs cricket. This policy is in place for a good reason, and Kevin and his representatives were aware of that. I hope that after he's retired he doesn't regret that, but that's the decision that's been taken."

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