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Pietersen left out of England squad against South Africa

India TV News Desk 13 Aug 2012, 16:18:00 IST
India TV News Desk
London, Aug 13: Kevin Pietersen was left out of England's squad on Sunday for the third test against South Africa after selectors said he failed to give assurances over phone text messages he allegedly sent to the South Africans which criticized his own teammates.

"Naturally I'm hugely disappointed," Pietersen said in a statement. "The fact is I love England, and I love cricket."

Pietersen, who scored 149 in the second test, failed to make England's 13-man squad for the test which starts at Lords on Thursday. The 32-year-old Pietersen reportedly sent the text messages during the drawn second test at Headingley.

"During the past week we have held several discussions with Kevin Pietersen and his advisers. Following a constructive meeting it was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room," England cricket managing director Hugh Morris said.

"A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. This has not been forthcoming despite clear timelines being set to allow the selectors to pick the squad."

The South African-born Pietersen had threatened to quit test cricket after the second test, blaming "politics" and leaks to the media while claiming it was "tough being me". He reversed his position on Saturday in a video put on YouTube and made himself available again for his adopted country in all formats.

Needing a win in the third test to stay top ranked in the world, England's decision to drop its most naturally talented batsman took some observers by surprise.

"It is not often a player gets 149 in a test match and is left out the next week," former England captain Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News.

Pietersen retired from one-day internationals earlier this year, and as a consequence England ruled him out of the Twenty20 side to defend its world title in Sri Lanka in September. He now faces a tough challenge to play for his country again at test level.

"The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust," Morris said. "Whilst we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected we have sadly had to conclude that, in the best interest of the team, he will miss the Lords test."

Pietersen has played 88 tests for England since his debut in 2005 with 7,076 runs at an average of 49.48 and a highest score of 227.

South Africa leads the three-match series 1-0.

England squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, James Taylor, Jonathan Trott.