ECB: No change on Pietersen stance


Published: Saturday 20th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Kevin Pietersen was not discussed as a potential shock inclusion for England’s 15-man World Cup squad, according to national selector James Whitaker.

The controversial batsman is still a hot topic of conversation despite being axed in February by the England and Wales Cricket Board in the wake of the Ashes whitewash defeat.

The decision to surprisingly remove Alastair Cook as one-day international captain and replace him with Eoin Morgan led some to believe Pietersen may return, but Whitaker dismissed that theory altogether.

When asked if anything had changed regarding Pietersen’s position, Whitaker told Sky Sports News HQ: “Nope, no.

“The ECB management made a decision on Kevin in January and it is the same.”

Ben Stokes, alongside Cook, is the notable omission from the squad for the tri-series against Australia and India and the World Cup, but there is a recall for Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance.

Durham all-rounder Stokes struggled to impose himself on the recent tour to Sri Lanka, making just 22 runs in two innings while figures of eight for 85 in his three matches make for grim reading.

“I’ve spoken to Ben at length, he’s very disappointed, as you can imagine,” said Whitaker.

“It’s consistency we’re looking for and that will arrive with Ben. We’ve always understood his talent. He’s definitely a player for the future and he’s one of those group of young emerging players that will form a core part of our group in the future.”

Nottinghamshire left-armer Harry Gurney was also omitted but Ballance, who was left out of the tour to Sri Lanka after a summer in and out of the side, seems to have benefited from the decision to leave out Cook for the 50-over global tournament.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad are included, despite both frontline seamers missing England’s most recent tour due to respective injuries.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions to get to our final squad but firmly believe that the 15 players selected offer the very best chance of success at the World Cup,” added Whitaker.

“I would like to congratulate all players on their selection and wish Peter, Eoin, and the squad all the very best. Representing England in a World Cup is a huge honour and responsibility, something all the players recognise.

“There have been a number of promising performances from players in recent series and it is important that this squad continues to develop their one-day skills quickly and players start to show the sort of consistency needed to succeed regularly on the world stage.”

England squad for the tri-series against Australia and India and the World Cup: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex; capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire; wicketkeeper); Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Published: Saturday 20th December 2014 by The News Editor

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