Kevin Pietersen threatened to quit Test cricket on Monday in the aftermath of England’s draw with South Africa in the second Test, blaming “politics” and leaks to the media.
After confirming the third and final Test against the Proteas at Lord’s starting on August 16 could be his last, Pietersen said he wouldn’t elaborate on his reasons before doing just that.
“You can ask me a hundred times, I’m not getting into it,” Pietersen said. “The family thing is just one point, but there are a lot of other issues. It would be a huge shame. I love playing Test cricket for England, but we’ll see.”
Pietersen denied the lure of the Indian Premier League was a factor.
“It’s absolutely 100 per cent not about money,” he said. “It’s not a money issue. I love playing cricket for England but we’ll see. The politics is what I have to deal with personally. It’s tough being me playing for England.”
The batsman denied the media circus that followed this announcement was his doing.
“It was blamed on me that pre the Test series that it was me grabbing the headlines,” Pietersen said. “Did I leak anything to the media about the meetings I was having with the ECB? I never spoke to the media for one single second and it was me grabbing the headlines and journalists talking about me grabbing the headlines. I never spoke a single word to a single journalist about anything that happened behind closed doors that I thought were closed doors.”
Asked if he was annoyed that details of private meetings had been leaked, Pietersen nodded.
England captain Andrew Strauss was reluctant to be drawn on the issue, but denied the batsman had been distracted during the match, in which he made 149 not out in the first innings, took four wickets and was named man-of-the-match.
“He seemed to play pretty well in this Test match, he’s an unbelievable player,” Strauss said. “I think it’s important to stress that this team’s spirit over the last three years has been outstanding. It’s something we all pride ourselves on.”