Was Pietersen forced to resign?

Yet again Pietersen has denied that he was responsible for the leak of his rift with Peter Moores that apparently cost him the role of England captain.

updated: January 12, 2009 11:53 IST
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Kevin Pietersen again denied he was responsible for the leak of his rift with Peter Moores that apparently cost him the role of England cricket captain.

Pietersen quit as captain on Wednesday amid accusations by many commentators of allowing his unhappiness with the coach to become public, leading to the upheaval that threatens to blight England's efforts to regain the Ashes from Australia this year.

But England and Wales Cricket Board vice chairman Dennis Amiss said the ruling body believed the batsman's protestations that he was not to blame and Pietersen told Sky News TV that suggestions to the contrary were unfair.

"It's been hard, it's been horrible and it's been hurtful and disappointing," Pietersen said in an interview broadcast Sunday. "I'm not angry with anybody, I'm just bitterly hurt and disappointed that my character's been assassinated because I know I'm not a bad bloke."

Moores was fired in the wake of the rift but Pietersen said his only gripes with his former coach were professional.

"I have absolutely no personal problem with Peter Moores," Pietersen said. "He's a fantastic guy. The man does want England to win and he's passionate about winning. I just didn't feel that me and him could take the team forward."

The interview appeared to be part of a coordinated attempt by Pietersen to address accusations that he was ego-driven and had created a rift in the dressing room. He said in a newspaper interview that the ECB misinterpreted his comments in an e-mailed strategy paper he was asked to write.

Pietersen told the ECB that he was unable to lead the squad on its Test and one-day tour to the West Indies starting this month if Moores was still in charge. Pietersen said the ECB treated this as a resignation after details of his comments were leaked to the press and told him by telephone that he was stepping down.

"(England cricket managing director Hugh Morris) said they had had an emergency board meeting and they had accepted my resignation," Pietersen told Sunday's News of the World newspaper. "I said, 'On what basis has it been accepted?' They had no answer."

Pietersen said Morris did not tell him that Moores was being fired.

"I thought that one of us had to go," Pietersen said. "And I would have had no problem if they had decided it was me and Moores stayed."

Pietersen reaffirmed his commitment to his playing role in the side. He said there was no rift in the dressing room and even suggested that he had "unfinished business" with the captaincy.

Amiss said the ECB was happy for Pietersen to continue playing under his replacement, Andrew Strauss.

"Kevin is very much part of the future," Amiss told the British Broadcasting Corp. "He's offered Andrew Strauss his backing. He hopes he will regain the England captaincy. He's got this will, this desire to do well in international cricket."

Amiss said that Pietersen had considered quitting after last month's 1-0 test series defeat in India, but agreed to mull his situation while on holiday in South Africa.

"We wanted him to go away and think about it while he was in South Africa," Amiss said. "We wanted to resolve the situation as quickly as possible."

Amiss, though, said his Pietersen's position as captain became untenable once his unhappiness with Moores became public.

"Once the information was in the public domain that Kevin Pietersen didn't want Peter Moores as his coach, it was always going to be impossible to resolve amicably," Amiss said. "We understand his frustration at it being leaked by other parties."