Pietersen: Test career not over despite snub

Julian Harris
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ENGLAND batting maverick Kevin Pietersen was yesterday dropped from the squad for this week’s crucial third Test against South Africa, yet insists that this is not the end of his international career.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) accused Pietersen of failing to publicly confirm that text messages he recently sent to some South African players had not contained derogatory comments about fellow members of the England squad.

“The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust,” said Hugh Morris of the ECB, explaining the decision to drop the star batsman.

“This entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family,” Pietersen responded last night. “However, none of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer.”

With England trailing 1-0 in the three-Test series, the tie at Lord’s – which starts on Thursday – is a must-win match if England are to avoid defeat. Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow comes into the squad in place of Pietersen.

The ECB had been widely expected to forgive Pietersen after he released a video on Saturday committing to “all forms of cricket” for the national side.

Conflicts had previously escalated due to the player’s wish to occasionally prioritise his involvement in the lucrative Indian Premier League – a decision he appeared to reverse in the video.