Kevin Pietersen has hit back at ECB chief Paul Downton, who recently claimed the former England batsman was “disinterested” for the duration of their winter Ashes tour.
Despite being England’s top-scorer of the tour, Pietersen has faced some remarkable accusations amidst the fall-out of their 5-0 defeat to the Aussies, and he has refused to remain silent after Downton’s latest attack, instead releasing a strongly-worded statement that will do his relations with the elites at Lord’s no favours whatsoever.
Pietersen was labelled the latest claims against his character “wholly untrue”, and insists he was “fully motivated” to play for the Three Lions, though a knee injury and numerous subsequent injections stopped him from reaching his full potential Down Under. Unfortunately, the South-African born batsman is limited in the information he can disclose about his disagreements with the ECB, as he signed a contract upon his departure that contained strict confidentiality clauses.
Downton reminded the press that it was, in fact, Pietersen who instigated the decision to bring his illustrious international career to a close, though this was because he did not want to be unavailable for other opportunities, such as the Indian Premier League 7. However, having scored over 13,500 runs for England, Pietersen will simply not accept allegations that he had “too many agendas”. Downton himself enjoyed thirty Test matches with England, scoring 785 runs and also keeping wicket.
His was admittedly a career that included now-infamous conflicts with coaches Peter Moores, Andy Flowers and Andrew Strauss, and that is just within the England camp. The spat with Moores even led to the ex-Lancashire coach’s resignation after the ECB then chose to back Pietersen, though he has since returned, of course, to lead the national side.
A difficult spell for Pietersen has continued into May, as his Delhi Daredevils are now certain to finish bottom of the IPL. Even a gallant knock of 58 off 41 balls against Kings XI Punjab was not enough to change his side’s fate, and the Daredevils captain has apologised for his failings this season.
However, the launching of the ‘Kevin Pietersen Cricket Academies’ in Dubai and India now suggest the 33-year-old may have one eye on the future.
The Academies aim to train children, particularly disadvantaged ones, and will open in October. Pietersen promises they will be “state-of-the-art facilities”, as he hopes to retain a role in the game in spite of his bitter experiences with England.