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Hussain: KP decision 'huge'

England's decision to jettison Kevin Pietersen has been described as a "massive shock" and a "huge decision" by former captain Nasser Hussain.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Tuesday night that Pietersen will not be picked for the forthcoming tours of West Indies and then Bangladesh for the ICC World Twenty20.

That announcement appeared to signal the end of Pietersen's colourful international career, with the 33-year-old batsman saying in a joint statement that he was "obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end".

Pietersen's omission follows Andy Flower's resignation last week as team director as the implications of England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash this winter stack up.

The decision follows a meeting at Lord's between new ECB managing director Paul Downton and selectors.

Hussain was among the high-profile experts and pundits reacting to the bombshell, telling Sky Sports News: "They had to make a decision pretty soon. It is a huge decision, and a massive shock.

"It's been an incredible winter, and nothing seems to surprise us any more.

"There were rumours of things going on behind the scenes in Australia ... and obviously Andy Flower has made his thoughts felt.

"Paul Downton has taken this decision to move on into this new era and future without Kevin Pietersen."

Hussain acknowledges England had a tough call to make between trying to forge a future with a brilliant player, who has fallen out with management several times over since his earliest days in his native South Africa, and choosing to sever those sometimes troubled ties.

"It's a bold move when you go without one of your best players ... so there must have been things that were happening behind the scenes that Flower and (captain Alastair) Cook weren't amused with," he said.

"It would be nice to know from the ECB, if you're going to axe one of your best players, what those things were.

"It is about man-management - however disruptive a player is, you can still try to manage most players.

"But history tells you with Kevin he hasn't really got a foot to stand on - whether it be back in Natal or Hampshire or Nottinghamshire, or Peter Moores or Andrew Strauss or Alastair Cook or Andy Flower, wherever he has been he has been a problem.

"Eventually English cricket has said 'enough is enough'.

"Some people believe in cutting out the virus and moving on; other people just say 'man-manage your best players'.

"There is no easy solution.

"He is arguably one of the best players England have ever produced.

"Andy Flower said they are going to have to take some pain, going into this new era, and I think we all know and see now what he meant by that."