Pietersen was ignored during England captaincy reshuffle

Kevin Pietersen has not played since returning home early from the World Cup with a hernia injury in March AFP

By Julian Guyer

London: May 6, 2011

Former skipper Kevin Pietersen was left among the ranks after England took the bold step of announcing separate Test, one-day and Twenty20 captains.

Test skipper Andrew Strauss’s decision to quit one-day internationals created a vacancy but England gave the 50-over leadership to Alastair Cook, his opening partner in the five-day game and long identified as a future England captain, rather than revert to Pietersen.

Ashes star Cook’s elevation had been widely trailed, despite his not considered being a good enough one-day batsman to be selected for the recent World Cup where a stuttering England suffered a 10-wicket quarter-final thrashing by eventual runners-up Sri Lanka.

But England sprung a surprise by announcing fast bowler Stuart Broad would succeed Paul Collingwood as captain of their world champion Twenty20 side.

Pietersen, briefly England captain across the board in succession to Michael Vaughan in 2008-09, told the Daily Mirror last month: “If the one-day job becomes available, I would definitely be up for it.”

South Africa born Pietersen was stripped of the England captaincy after deterioration in his relationship with Peter Moores, now at Lancashire, saw the then coach sacked. The pair’s exits paved the way for the successful alliance between Strauss and coach Andy Flower that has yielded home and away Ashes triumphs.

Pietersen who has not played since returning home early from the World Cup with a hernia injury in March, hopes to return next week for Surrey in a three-day game against a Cambridge student side.

The 30-year-old put a brave face on being overlooked for a new leadership role with England by telling his Twitter followers on Thursday: “Congrats to Cookie & Broady on the captaincies.. New era for ENG. Young captains for the future.. Exciting times ahead!!”

Strauss has now followed in the footsteps of Ricky Ponting (Australia), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Graeme Smith (South Africa) and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) who have all, at the very least, stood down as one-day captains of their respective countries since the World Cup.

“Ultimately the decision was made because the end of the World Cup is a watershed for all one-day teams and is a team to refresh and regenerate and to move forward,” the 34-year-old Strauss explained.

“I didn’t think in my own mind that for me to start that process knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to see it through to the next World Cup (in Australia and New Zealand in 2015) was in the best interests of the team.”

Although it is not uncommon for leading nations to have separate Test and one-day captains, Flower admitted England were taking a gamble in opting for three skippers. “I don’t think any side has had three separate captains before,” he said. “We do not know 100 percent whether it will work or whether it will be the most effective or efficient system, but we are going to give it a try.”