Andrew Strauss does not want to enter war of words with Kevin Pietersen

Andrew Strauss (above) and Kevin Pietersen have not always met eye-to-eye © Getty Images

London: Oct 12, 2013

Former England captain Andrew Strauss said on Friday he didn’t want to become involved in a “war of words” with Kevin Pietersen over the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Strauss retired last year following a series with South Africa where Pietersen was accused of sending derogatory texts regarding his then captain to Proteas’ players.

The opener had previously been a member of an England management group who found themselves opposed to star batsman Pietersen’s desire to spend more time playing in the lucrative IPL tournament.

But in his recently published autobiography, ‘Driving Ambition’, Strauss wrote England “run the risk of slipping behind other teams in both One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 cricket if our players don’t participate in the IPL.”

That led Piers Morgan, the former editor of Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper turned US-based television chat-show host, who has written of his friendship with Pietersen, to tell his Twitter followers: “The cheek of Andrew Strauss (part 2) — made all that fuss re @KP24 & IPL, and now he’s not captain, says this.” [sic]

Pietersen did not comment directly on Morgan’s remarks but did retweet them.

Strauss, in an interview with BBC Radio on Friday, said: “Piers Morgan’s got some very strong opinions on the game of cricket, hasn’t he?

“The point I was trying to make is I think there should be a window for the IPL, I think the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) should look to create that.

“But until there is a window, there’s no way. It creates a horrendous precedent if someone misses a Test match to play in the IPL,” he added.

“Kevin’s doing his own thing, he’s got his own issues and his own thoughts, and I’m sure one day he’ll write a book and he’ll have his own point of view on everything that happened last summer, and that’s fine,” said Strauss, who succeeded Pietersen as England captain.

“Do I really want to enter a war of words with Piers Morgan or Kevin Pietersen? No. Life’s too short, let’s move on.

“The Ashes series is coming up and hopefully England can win in Australia again and hopefully we’ll be talking about the death of Australian cricket rather than anything Kevin Pietersen did.”

Pietersen was a member of the England side that recently completed a 3-0 home Test series win over Australia — their third successive Ashes triumph against their arch-rivals.

And the talented shot-maker, who like Strauss was born in South Africa, is in line to play his 100th Test for England should he, as expected, be picked for the opening match of the return Ashes in Brisbane next month.

The ‘window’ Strauss spoke of has, in part, been created by the ECB’s decision to scrap May Tests for next year’s visit by Sri Lanka when a two-match series will be played in June instead.

By playing the Tests later in the English season, with the T20 match and five-one-dayers beforehand, the ECB has given the likes of Pietersen a chance to enjoy a longer stint in the IPL.

The move should also avoid the problem many touring sides have experienced in recent years of either being denied their best players for the May Tests because of IPL commitments or their stars only arriving shortly before the start of a series.