London: The England & Wales Cricket Board broke its silence over Kevin Pietersen revealing he was sacked after becoming completely “disconnected” from the team in Australia.
Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket, also confirmed Pietersen asked to be released from his England contract once it was made clear to him he no longer had a future at international level.
The ECB’s failure to properly explain the Pietersen decision for the past two months meant it was an issue at Saturday’s press conference at Lord’s where Peter Moores was confirmed as the new head coach five years after his sacking by England.
Pietersen tweeted “everyone deserves a second chance” shortly before Moores was officially announced as Andy Flower’s replacement. But Downton firmly shut the door on any prospect of an England return for Pietersen who, it became clear during the press conference, was sacked to help strengthen Alastair Cook’s captaincy and allow him to stamp his own mark on the team.
“Watch what happened in Australia. What you saw was a senior player who had become disconnected from the team,” said Downton.
“I watched every ball of the Sydney Test match and I have never seen anyone so disengaged from what was going on. What you need from a senior player is backing and support and everybody working together, but we had got to a stage where that was no longer the case. I think the sooner we understand that Kevin has had his time the better. We are moving on without Kevin.
“People have been looking for an smoking gun, but there are no specific issues. This is about 10 years of Kevin scoring runs very well for England but getting to a point where the balance shifted. During those 10 years we had a strong side with strong leadership at the time and that side in the past could accommodate Kevin - that balance has shifted and a new side won't accommodate Kevin.”
Moores lost his job in 2009 when his methods failed to engage the team’s senior players and led to a fateful collision with Pietersen.