sport

Pietersen hits back at Downton

Kevin Pietersen says an accusation he was disinterested during the winter Ashes tour is "wholly untrue".

England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton made the claim on Thursday on the background to Pietersen's axing in the wake of the whitewash in Australia.

Pietersen and the ECB, according to the player, agreed on the termination of his contract that the reasons behind the split would remain confidential.

But Downton, who succeeded Hugh Morris in February, gave an interview this week in which he said Pietersen was "disinterested" and "distracted" during the Ashes and accused the batsman of having a "'this-is-the-way-I-play' type of attitude."

Responding in a lengthy statement on his own website, Pietersen said: "The suggestion that I was uninterested during the winter Ashes series against Australia is wholly untrue.

"Although I was having injections in my knee, which inhibited my mobility and thus my ability to field close to the wicket, I was fully motivated to play for England and whilst I accept that the series as a whole fell well below my own personal standards, I finished the series as the top scorer.

"I did, and continue to have a good relationship with most of the England players, which has been subsequently highlighted by a number of press interviews.

"With regard to the criticisms aimed at my "the way I play type attitude", I feel it's only reasonable to remind Mr Downton that this method has brought me over 13,500 runs for England, in addition to being part of four Ashes-winning teams and a World T20-winning side, all of which achievements I am hugely proud of.

"I will continue to abide by the confidentiality provisions contained in my settlement agreement, which I believe applies to both the ECB and myself."