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No word from Pietersen on former captain

TAUNTON – Kevin Pietersen has remained mum on his former captain Andrew Strauss’ sudden retirement.

Pietersen has not made a habit of helping himself off the field – at least not this summer – and it could be argued that maintaining his recent vow of silence today was counter-productive.

Saying too much has led to Pietersen’s current state of separation from England. But saying nothing at all here after rain had ruled out any chance of cricket and following Andrew Strauss’s retirement speech at Lord’s will be seen by some as a bad misjudgment.

The – for the moment, at least – former England batsman has kept his thoughts to himself for a fortnight, and wisely so. Here, though, a short statement praising Strauss’s achievements over the years and wishing the ex-captain well for the future would have gone down well. Perhaps he has done that privately and, if so, then fair play to him, but a short public tribute might have mended some fences.

Instead, Pietersen turned down several requests for a TV interview and it was made clear to newspaper and web site journalists that he would not be speaking. Instead, with the rain hammering down, he put himself through a series of shuttle runs on the sodden Taunton outfield.

Marcus Trescothick, Strauss’s long-time opening partner at Test level, was happy to chat.

“I wasn’t surprised, although I was hoping Andrew would continue as an England player,” he said. “I didn’t think he would come back and play county cricket once his Test career had ended and the only other scenario I could foresee was him quitting the captaincy while continuing to play Test cricket for a while.

“He took England to No 1 in the world which had been a massive challenge for him and for the ECB, and winning the Ashes away from home would probably be the pinnacle of his time as captain.

“I’m sure he would like to have gone out on a high by beating South Africa and keeping the No 1 ranking but sadly that didn’t prove possible.

“I don’t believe the Kevin Pietersen issue had any effect on his decision. I’m sure this has been part of his planning for some time.

“We were opening partners for England for a number of years and we became good friends. He was a good guy to share a dressing room with a strong leader. I wish him nothing but the best for the future.” (Cricinfo)

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