KP issue still lingering

2015-05-14 21:00
Kevin Pietersen (Getty Images)

London - The shadow of Kevin Pietersen has continued to hang over England's cricket team as a 12-man squad containing uncapped pair Adam Lyth and Mark Wood was selected on Thursday for the first Test against New Zealand.

The first squad announcement since the firing of coach Peter Moores, and the hiring of Andrew Strauss as England's new director of cricket, consisted entirely of players who recently toured the West Indies.

Opener Lyth and paceman Wood did not play any of the three Tests in the Caribbean, but both could make their debuts at Lord's next week in temporary coach Paul Farbrace's first match in charge.

Lyth is sure to be captain Alastair Cook's opening partner following the retirement of Jonathan Trott.

Pietersen missed out after being told by Strauss that he doesn't feature in England's immediate plans because of "massive trust issues" between the batsman and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Pietersen was recently given encouragement by the incoming chairman of the ECB, Colin Graves, that a return to the Test team after more than a year's absence was possible, with a clean slate, if he performed well in county cricket.

Pietersen scored 355 not out for Surrey this week, but his path back to the England set-up has been blocked by Strauss.

The Pietersen saga has dominated the sports agenda in England this week, and Ian Bell became the first member of the Test team to speak out about the matter.

"Kevin is a quality player, probably the best player I have ever played with, so he does make any team stronger," Bell said.

"Will it harm our chances not to have him this summer?

"If we think about it and let it come into our dressing room and talk about it, yes it probably might."

Wood made his ODI debut for England in a washed-out match against Ireland last week and looks to be battling with Chris Jordan for a spot as the third seamer behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the test side.

England drew the series 1-1 in the West Indies and is looking to gather winning momentum in a two-Test series against New Zealand to take into the five-test Ashes series starting on July 8.

"It is key that this group of players learns from the instances when the opposition was put under pressure and we were in a position to press for victory but couldn't quite manage it," national selector James Whitaker said.

"New Zealand are a very talented side, and I expect a very competitive series."

The first Test starts next Thursday.

England squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mark Wood.

Read more on:    ecb  |  kevin pietersen  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.