Pietersen's exit sparks switch to youth: Botham

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Published: Saturday, June 2, 2012, 14:48 [IST]
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KP, not exactly an old man, says Botham

London, June 2: England batsman Kevin Pietersen's retirement has come as a shock to many cricket fans and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), but legendary all-rounder Ian Botham said 'life and sport move on and so will England'.

Pietersen's decision to retire from One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 cricket triggered after the troubled relationship between the batsman and the cricket board.

Botham insisted England must move on despite Pietersen's departure from the shorter version of the game.

"Life and sport move on and so will England. There is no point having a player in the dressing room if his heart is not in it and he doesn’t want to play. Once he made his decision, nothing was going to change it, so we must accept it and look forward," the Daily Mirror quoted Botham, as saying.

"If he doesn't want to play for England in whatever format, it might be time to let him go, wish him all the best then find someone who does want to be there and play one-day cricket for their country," Botham said.

Considering Pietersen's class and caliber, the former England all-rounder felt the not-so-old batsman could compete in the biggest stage of cricket, the World Cup or even the World T20 championships.

"For a player of his class and caliber I would have thought he would want to go out on the biggest stage of all – a World Cup. Either the World T20 in September or the World Cup at the start of 2015 when he would have been 34. He is not exactly an old man," he said.

Pietersen represented England in 127 ODI matches scoring a total of 4184 runs at an average of 36.07 with nine centuries and 23 fifties.


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