Kevin Pietersen insists his England career is not over despite the controversial batsman being dropped for his country’s crucial third Test against South Africa at Lord’s.
Pietersen was axed on Sunday after a dramatic week that started with allegations he sent text messages to South African players containing derogatory comments about English captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.
The 32-year-old, who had just scored a superb century in the drawn second Test against South Africa at Headingley, followed that bombshell by claiming he was ready to walk away from the sport due to what he perceived as problems in the England squad that he said “made it hard being me”.
And then, with speculation increasing that he would be dropped when the third Test squad was named on Sunday, the saga took a bizarre twist when Pietersen posted a video on YouTube on Saturday in which he claimed he was now ready to play in all forms of international cricket having previously opted out of limited overs action.
That seems to have been a misguided attempt to curry favour with the public when his fate was already sealed because just 24 hours later the England selectors confirmed that Pietersen had been left out of the must-win Lord’s clash.
But, with his international career seemingly in tatters, Pietersen released a statement later on Sunday that made it clear he would continue to make himself available for selection.
“I am hugely disappointed that the ECB have decided not to select me. To say I am gutted is an understatement,” Pietersen said.
“This entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family. However, none of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer.
“The video I released was my way to bring closure to the issues I had at that time.
“I had an emotional time at Headingley but I stand by every word I said in the video.”
It has emerged that Pietersen was perturbed by a parody Twitter account and the possibility that his team-mates might somehow be associated with the tone, sending up his personality and behaviour.
The account was eventually closed down, with Pietersen adding: “The fact is I love England, and I love cricket.
“I wish the team, and Straussy in particular, every success next week.”