Former England team director Andrew Strauss
Former England team director Andrew Strauss
ANI Photo

Former England captain Andrew Strauss admitted that he didn't handle Kevin Pietersen well during his time at the helm as the flamboyant batsman should have been given some space despite not exactly adhering to the team ethos.

Strauss and Pietersen had a major fallout due to their difference of opinion with regards to ECB policy on IPL. "I always had sympathy with KP over the IPL," Strauss said on a Sky Sports podcast.

"I understood what a big event it was with all the best players playing there together and huge amounts of money on the table as well." It must be mentioned that when Strauss became ECB's 'Director of Cricket' he created a window for England players to play IPL, something Pietersen advocated for the longest time.

"Long term my view was that we had to find a window for the IPL. I told the ECB we couldn't compete against each other as it is going to create massive issues within our team. But I thought it was incredibly dangerous to allow players to miss Test cricket to play in the IPL.

The message you'd be sending and the precedent you'd be setting is that the IPL is more important than Test cricket," he added. "I was saying to KP at the time, 'listen, mate, this is the situation. You can't opt in or out of international cricket. You've got obligations to England and hopefully there are gaps where you can play in the IPL as well'."

After being dropped for good in 2014- 15, Pietersen had hit out at some of his teammates like Matt Prior and Stuart Broad in his autobiography, which also included criticism of Strauss for not supporting him. "I think instead I just let KP be KP. In retrospect that was a mistake and might have sowed the seeds for what was to come down the track," Strauss admitted.

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