London: The England and Wales Cricket Board has denied reports that their star batsman Kevin Pietersen had aggravated his achilles injury while playing for Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League in South Africa earlier this year.
The ECB also denied that they had prescribed any training programme for Pietersen, as alleged by Bangalore Royal Challengers assistant coach and physiotherapist Evan Speechly.
"Pietersen reported to Loughborough before he flew out to South Africa and was passed fit to join up with Bangalore. ECB medical staff had sent a fitness programme to Bangalore and at no stage did Kevin Pietersen do anything to contradict that and at no stage was he told not to go running," the Guardian quoted an ECB spokesman, saying.
“Kevin Pietersen is the most diligent and responsible of trainers and prides himself on his physical fitness and preparation for playing cricket. The ECB medical staff hold him as one of the best examples of a player who does everything within his power to achieve maximum fitness to play cricket," the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, Pietersen"s spokesman also supported ECB"s view and said: “Kevin had a medical before he went on the trip [to the IPL in South Africa]. He would not have been allowed to get on the plane if there was anything wrong. He reported to Loughborough before he flew out to South Africa. They gave him a programme and told him to stick to it but he was never told not to go running."
The ECB is clearly sensitive about its two best players, Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, who are both centrally contracted players. And now with Pietersen being ruled out of the rest of the Ashes series and being extremely doubtful for the heavy one-day series that follows it, question are being raised about the worth of lucrative central contracts that they have been provided with.