London: Deep distrust of Kevin Pietersen prevented a recall of the in-form batsman for England’s summer campaigns against New Zealand and Australia though, strangely, cricket director Andrew Strauss added on Tuesday he was not banned from selection. Strauss refused to permanently rule Pietersen out from returning to the fold after the summer, but admitted their relationship needs to improve. “Over months and years, the trust between himself and the (England and Wales Cricket Board) has eroded, and we are in the situation now where there is a massive trust issue between Kevin and I,” Strauss told Sky. “Because of that, we have decided that it is not in the best short-term interests of the side for him to be in that team.
“I can’t give him any guarantees on the future but he is not banned from the side. No one knows what is going to happen in the future. Everyone knows there is no trust out there. If there is a way to build trust, then let’s look at it, but at the moment, we are quite estranged.” Pietersen, who was dropped in February 2014 following the 2013-14 Ashes whitewash in Australia, met with Strauss and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison late Monday after hitting his first triple century in a county cricket match for Surrey against Leicestershire.
Not long after Strauss’ comments, his innings ended on Tuesday, unbeaten on 355, with his side dismissed for 557. “I’m desperate to play for England again,” Pietersen said late Monday after finishing the day on 326. “I want to play for England again soon. I just want to score runs. Personal differences between personalities has nothing to do with what the public wants. The public wants to see England cricket winning.”
The turbulent relationship between Pietersen and Strauss emerged before a 2012 test series against South Africa. Pietersen was dropped from the England team before the opening encounter for sending messages to the Proteas squad regarding Strauss, his then-captain.
The South Africa-born Pietersen returned to the squad in 2013 before being discarded again by the ECB a year later after England’s humiliating Ashes tour, where the side was routed 5-0, and won only one limited-overs game.