Friday 22 November 2019

Cricket: England coach urges outcast Pietersen to resolve row 'man to man'

Stephen Brenkley

With every passing day, Kevin Pietersen's international career looks to have come to its sorry end. After being omitted yesterday from England's World Twenty20 squad and the limited-overs series against South Africa, he was urged to deal "man to man" with the issues separating him and the team management.

Pietersen seems as far as ever from settling not only contractual discord but also the matter of the text messages he sent to members of South Africa's team during the recent Test series, apparently containing unseemly comments about his captain Andrew Strauss, and coach Andy Flower.

After it emerged yesterday from the Pietersen camp that arrangements were being made for more talks next week, Flower said: "These things should remain private. I don't think they should be played out in the media so leaking information or using PR agencies to resolve this is not the correct way to go about it. Face to face and man to man, where you can look people in the eye is always the best way."

The wrangle between Pietersen and his employers has continued for months but reached a nadir with the text revelations. Since then he has reversed a decision to quit limited-overs cricket and apologised to Strauss and the team about the messages, merely calling them provocative.

But Flower said that the apology had come to the ECB via Pietersen's agent and he clearly did not consider that came close to bringing the dispute to an end. Pietersen was dropped by England following the second Test against South Africa in Leeds, where he made a coruscating century.

The key question remains whether Pietersen will play again. Crunch time will be when central contracts are issued next month and when the party for the tour of India is also named. (© Independent News Service)

Sorensen makes case for World T20 as Ireland fall

MAX SORENSEN made his case for a starting place in next month's World T20 finals as Ireland went 2-0 down to South Africa 'A' in Belfast yesterday in an unofficial three-match limit-overs series.

A rain interruption that arrived at Stormont when Ireland had reached 143-8, left the visitors with a revised target of 96 to win from 20 overs which they knocked off with six wickets to spare. The Hills paceman Sorensen removed both openers in a lively two-over burst.

The Ireland innings followed a now familiar pattern for this tour of dogged resistance against a high-quality attack, as James Shannon top-scored with 32.

Irish Independent

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