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Pietersen hits out at England

ESPN staff
June 9, 2014
Kevin Pietersen's appearances in this country will now be limited to the county game, but he insists he has 'moved on' © PA Photos

As England prepare to start their summer of Test cricket on Thursday, Kevin Pietersen has said that he is relieved to be out of the England dressing-room, claiming the "environment was poor" during a shambolic Ashes winter.

Pietersen was dropped for good by England's selectors after the series, a decision which continues to divide the cricket public, but he in an interview with the Daily Telegraph he said he had "moved on with my life" and insisted his relationship with team-mates in the national side "was fine".

'England made wrong move with Moores'

Kevin Pietersen speaks to the press © Getty Images
  • In his column Pietersen claimed England's decision not to appoint Ashely Giles to succeed Flower was not just about ability.

    " I felt really sorry for Ashley when he missed out on the England head coach job. I spoke to him after [Moores was appointed to the role] and told him I thought he had it nailed. But sadly I think he was just too close to me for the England and Wales Cricket Board's liking.

    "That is the problem. He had spoken too positively about me in Australia for the ECB to give him the job. It is a shame for both sides.

    "Instead they turned to Peter Moores. First and foremost I believe England should not have appointed someone who has done the job before. It was time for fresh ideas. But this time there is not a crop of senior players to resist his methods or with the personality to challenge him. They might say things behind his back but they will not take him on in front of others and that will give Peter a better chance of success."

"I am at peace with everything. It took only a couple of conversations with my family to start thinking this way because of how much I really did not enjoy the winter.

"In fact, it has been a relief to be out of the dressing room because it was not a pleasant place in Australia. We were losing and in my opinion the environment was poor and I was not alone in thinking that. It is a view shared by a number of the players who have spoken their minds since coming back from the tour.

"As soon as we arrived the Australian media turned the heat up on us. I have had that for years so it did not bother me. It was fun. But for other players you could sense it was a problem. The senior players were tired and it soon became a really long grind against an Australian side that had their backs up in their own country."

He said that he believed that by the end of the series England coach Andy Flower wanted him out. "After the Sydney Test, a headline came out claiming Flower had said to the ECB it was either "him or me". He denied saying that but the damage was done."

While reports of unrest within the team circulated widely, Pietersen said that was not the case. "We had an incredible tour on and off the field. I was helping all the bowlers out with their batting, and the night we lost 5-0 we were all having a drink in the bar together with our wives and girlfriends, which proves all was OK between us and still is.

"I have no issue with the players, as many have said in interviews since the tour ended. I speak to Stuart Broad and I even organised for Graeme Swann to go on holiday to one of my friend's hotels after he retired."

He said he had now moved on and was not wishing he was part of the side at Lord's this week. "Could I play more Test cricket? Yes of course, but should I sit here thinking I should be playing on Thursday? No, because that is when jealousy and negative thoughts come into your head."

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