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Jun 14, 2012 at 06:46pm IST

Eng will really miss Pietersen: Gayle

Southampton: Chris Gayle, the recalled West Indies opener, has termed as "unfortunate" the decision taken by Kevin Pietersen to retire from ODIs and Twenty20 internationals due to the terms of England's central contracts state that players must be available for both limited-overs formats to be considered for either.

"KP is the best batsman in the team and the coach, captain, players and fans will really miss him," said Gayle. "The Kevin Pietersen situation is really unfortunate. The England rules are that, once you don't play 50-over cricket, you can't play T20. If someone wants to retire from one, I don't see why he has to retire from the other. Kevin is a star player and he must know how much his body can take."

In a decision that caught everyone by surprise, Pietersen announced on May 31 that he was stepping away from ODI cricket – and effectively Twenty20 as it is part of the ECB contract to be available for both formats. He made it clear that he would like to continue to play Twenty20 internationals, but this was refused because of the ECB's rules.

England will really miss Pietersen: Gayle

The recalled West Indies opener felt the ECB's handling of Pietersen's retirement was unfortunate.

Gayle has returned to the West Indies set-up after 15 months, and hoped to make an impact in the upcoming ODIs against England. "It's good to be back in the No 45 [jersey] representing West Indies once more. Now I'm really looking forward to the first ODI against England on Saturday," he said. "The important thing is to fit in as quickly as possible. Once you get back in the comfort zone things will be much easier. The good thing is all the problems have been rectified. We are here as one to try to contribute to West Indies cricket."

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