Strauss down but prepared to move on

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss admits he feels let down and confused by dropped batsman Kevin Pietersen’s disloyalty, but has left the door open for his colleague to return to the side.

Strauss’s 100th Test match, which begins today at Lord’s and represents the climax to a crucial series, has been overshadowed by Pietersen, who was axed on Sunday for sending text messages disparaging the skipper to their South African opponents.

“I feel a little bit let down by Kevin, if I’m honest, but this isn’t an issue between me and Kevin,” said Strauss.

“It’s a broader issue than that and it’s very important that I act in the best interests of the England cricket team. It’s not a personal thing.”

Strauss gave a qualified welcome to Pietersen’s apology to England chiefs yesterday for what he conceded were “provocative” texts to friends in the tourists’ squad.

“It’s a step forward, a step in the right direction,” he added. “But this issue hasn’t just been about the text messages. There’s been a bit more of a broader issue about trust and mutual respect and that issue I’m very keen to resolve. It’s not going to be resolved overnight. I would like Kevin to play for England again but only if we resolve the issues that we need to resolve.”