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Steve Waugh Urges England To Forget Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen reacts after getting dismissed against Glamorgan on Sunday.
Kevin Pietersen reacts after getting dismissed against Glamorgan on Sunday.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh feels that England must move on from ex-batsman Kevin Pietersen to have a strong future as a team.

With England in the process of transition Waugh believes that they shouldn’t carry any past baggage with them that can hurt their progress.

"England have got to make a clean break and look forward to the future," said Waugh
"Sometimes you have to have short-term pain to get the long-term gain.”

As a part of his attempts to make an international comeback Pietersen has rejoined Surrey for the county season after pulling out of his lucrative IPL contract.

Although incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves hinted at a possibility of Pietersen’s return provided the latter has a strong county season, Waugh doesn’t believe the 34-year-old merits a place in the England squad.

"I don't think he's a great player right now.

“Setting aside all the other things, I don't think his form warranted a spot in the England side.

“He may have been a great player but I wouldn't class him as one now."

With a close to 14,000 international runs spread across all formats, Pietersen is England’s highest ever run-scorer in the history of the game.

After Pietersen’s sacking following the disastrous Ashes tour, the enigmatic batsman had gone on to make uncomfortable public statements which got bigger last November with the release of his book.

Waugh, who is the last Australian captain to win a series in England believes that Pietersen’s disciplinary issues of the past must also be considered by the team management.

"First, he has to be one of the best six batsmen in the country, which he's not.

“Then is he right for the current set-up? Does he fit in how the team is moving forward?

“Can he work with the captain and other players?

“Obviously there have been some issues.

“That's part of the reason why he's not there now.”

With all the incidents that happened in the past Waugh opined that it will be difficult to have Pietersen in the squad unless the latter had transformed as a person.

Waugh also pointed out the comfort level between teammates as a key ingredient going forward for a team’s success.

"Unless he's changed as a person and a personality - and that's hard to do - I don't know how you go back to what happened before.

"The number one thing is you've got to respect each other.

“Once this stops you're in real trouble.

“And I think that's probably happened over the past couple of years."

Pietersen started his county season on a dull note only managing a 23-ball 19 against Glamorgan on Sunday.

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