Kevin apologises for alt39provocativealt39texts

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 01:53 AM IST
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London

England batsman Kevin Pietersen apologised on Wednesday for sending alt145 provocativealt39text messages to South African players but team officials said it was too soon to say if he would be recalled to the side.

Last

weekend, Pietersen was dramatically dropped from the squad for this weeks third and final Test at Lords, despite scoring a superb 149 in the drawn second Test at Headingley.

Despite that innings, Pietersen was axed for failing to reveal the contents of those text messages, some of which were said to contain criticisms of England captain Andrew Strauss.

South Africa- born Pietersen, in an England and Wales Cricket Board ( ECB) statement, admitted: ‘I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team.

‘The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes. I apologise to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts. I truly didnalt39t mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake.’England managing director Hugh Morris said: ‘We are in receipt of Kevins apology but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years.

‘Critically, those discussions should take place behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight.

A successful conclusion to this process is in everyones best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersens potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered.’Morris added they were now focusing on the match and would not make any further comment ‘until such time as is appropriate’. Strauss, for whom the match at Lords, his Middlesex home ground, will be his 100th Test and 50th as captain, said Wednesday the selectors had made a ‘brave and correct decision’to omit Pietersen.

England go into the game starting Thursday 1- 0 down in the three- match series and need to win if they are to prevent South Africa replacing them as the worlds number one Test side.

Tensions between Pietersen, whose 21 Tests hundreds leave him one shy of Englands all- time record, and the ECB have been escalating for months.

The former England captain retired from limited overs internationals after officials refused his wish to opt out of 50- over matches while still playing Twenty20s.

Then came an extraordinary press conference after he was named man- of- the- match at Headingley, where Pietersen speculated the match at Lords might be his ‘last Test’. And last week, on the eve of the squad announcement for Lords, he took to YouTube to insist he was now available to play for England in all formats.

While his apology came too late for him to be selected for the third Test, it may help him be included in Englands squad for the World Twenty20, due to be announced Saturday.

Pietersen was Englands man of the tournament when they became World Twenty20 champions in the Caribbean two years ago — the first time they had won an International Cricket Council tournament.

Pietersen averages nearly 50 in Tests and is a worldclass player.

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