ECB's 'ego' forced Pietersen's exit, says Warne

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Published: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 11:19 [IST]
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Warne lashes out at ECB on KP's exit

London, Jun 28: Australian spin legend Shane Warne has slammed the England and the Wales Cricket Board and said the board's ego forced talented Kevin Pietersen's retirement from the limited overs format of the game.

Kevin Pietersen wanted to play twenty20 Internationals and quit ODIs in order to purely concentrate on Test cricket.

While the ECB said the cricketer should play opnly Test cricket or both the limited overs format and cannot choose between ODIs and T20s.

Despite being the man of the tournament in the previous edition of ICC World T20 in the Carribean, two years ago, Pietersen will miss this year's ICC T20 that is scheduled to begin in the month of September in Sri Lanka.

His retirement also suggests that the England team will miss the South African-born batsman for their upcoming ODI series against Australia.

"Any team that hasn't got Kevin Pietersen is significantly weaker," Warne told the Independent. "He's a match-winner so that's a big loss,"said Warne who had captained Pietersen while played for a county Hampshire.

"It staggers me and I'm very surprised that the ECB didn't try and negotiate that better, drop their egos and say, okay we understand this, we want to keep our best players playing all the time."

Warne further added saying that England cricket board's ego forced the talented batsman to announce retirement.

"I think it's just a bit too much ego for my liking from the ECB.

"Who wouldn't want Kevin Pietersen in your side? He's a match-winner and he puts bums on seats because people love watching him play.

"He rubs off on the rest of the players. So to me it's a huge loss," said the legendary spinner.

"People might give up more one-day cricket or they might give up Twenty20," added the legendary leg-spinner, who contrasted Pietersen's situation with that of Michael Clarke, the Australia captain.

"Michael Clarke's given up Twenty20 in Australia because he can't play all three forms at that level, but you can't imagine Australia dropping him and saying don't worry about one-day cricket, just stick to Tests."

England are scheduled to play five one day internationals against Australia while the first ODI will be played on Friday at Lord's.

Though Ian Bell and Alex Hales ensured that Pietersen's absence is not prominent, ODI series against Australia will see if the void created by his retirement is easy to fill or not as these two players have been promising so far this season.

Moreover, with ECB's ego channelised to force players to concentrate on both the limited overs format irrespective of their decisions, ECB might face the heat sooner than later.


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