FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has called for an end to the national team’s boycott of Kevin Pietersen after the batsman was yesterday omitted from the squad for the winter tour of India.
Pietersen remains excluded for sending derogatory messages about then-captain Andrew Strauss to friends in the South Africa squad during last month’s Test series, despite peace talks with England chiefs.
Vaughan wrote on Twitter: “KP was in the wrong.. He has apologised.. Now let’s show some maturity.. Bang some heads together and realise its just a game of cricket..”
Hugh Morris of the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] said there were “issues still to be resolved” with Pietersen, whose absence means places for uncapped duo Nick Compton and Joe Root.
“Kevin Pietersen is naturally disappointed about today's decision, having gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation with the ECB,” a statement released by his agents read.
Pietersen said he had apologised in person to Strauss, who retired last month, and had met with new skipper Alastair Cook and coach Andy Flower. The statement added: “He has also made absolutely clear both to the ECB and the England team that, despite unsubstantiated allegations to the contrary and repeated media speculation, he did not offer any tactical advice to the South Africans. Pietersen remains available for England.”
Somerset’s Compton and Yorkshire’s Root effectively replace Strauss and Pietersen, while Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar and Samit Patel are the three spinners selected for the four-Test series.