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Pietersen dropped by England

The ECB has reacted in sensational fashion to Kevin Pietersen’s recent antics by excluding him from the squad to face South Africa in the final Test. The match is a crucial one, with England needing to win to retain their status as the top Test nation. Pietersen is in outstanding form, and yet the ECB have decided that his actions, specifically sending derogatory texts about team-mates to friends in the South Africa team, could not go unpunished.

Pietersen had resorted to YouTube to issue a full apology for is comments and to state his willingness to continue representing England in all forms of cricket. This was deemed too little too late.

Hugh Morris, the managing director of English cricket explained: "A number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room. A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team. This has not been forthcoming."

Morris said that the spirit of unity within the England dressing-room was aparamount for a match of this importance. Fast bowler James Anderson commented on the issue in the Mail on Sunday: “No player is ever bigger than the team. Kevin talked about having issues within the dressing room. What's frustrating is that this was, literally, the first we knew about it. Kevin has mentioned nothing to us."

It seems that a small issue about Pietersen wanting the ECB to be more understanding about their schedule has blown up into a full-scale personality clash. The row could mean that Pietersen, one of the most gifted players of his generation, may never represent England again.

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