sport

Stewart questions KP decision

Alec Stewart is worried England have made the wrong decision in rebuilding their team without Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen brought an end to his international career on Tuesday evening after being told he was not being selected for the tour of the West Indies and the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Stewart was with the mercurial batsman at The Kia Oval for a batting masterclass earlier in the day and knew nothing of what was to come, and he had nothing but positive words to say about Pietersen's attitude, which has come into question on numerous occasions.

Pietersen could well be back with Surrey this summer amid rumours he will ply his trade as a Twenty20 specialist around the world.

"I can only speak in glowing terms of Kevin Pietersen and how he has been with Surrey the last couple of years," Stewart said.

Maverick

"At times you could call him a maverick cricketer, but he's a match-winner, a natural born winner and a game changer. All these types of things create a tremendous cricketer.

"Now, unfortunately, we are not going to see him playing in an England shirt again. I am sure there will be many England fans who see this as a shameful decision but it's a decision he will have to accept and we within the game of cricket have to accept.

"I do not know the full facts but as an England fan I'd want my best players playing for England, to give us the best chance of winning. Part of managing is not just coaching but creating a good environment and not letting these things get to a head.

"I'd be asking who has made these decisions and why have they come to those decisions. All Kevin Pietersen has ever had at Surrey is a very positive influence.

"They are talking about planning, but does that mean just Kevin Pietersen who has been made accountable for the 5-0 whitewash, or is it anyone over the age of 30 or 31?

"England made this decision, and they won't have made it without a lot of thought and due diligence, but I just hope in the long-term and in 10 or 12 months we are not regretting Kevin not walking out to bat for England.