London: Australian great Shane Warne has termed the ECB’s decision to drop Kevin Pietersen for the third Test against South Africa at Lord’s as a "shame", while former England captain Mike Atherton found the England’s batsman response "sensible".
Warne tweeted on Monday that Pietersen's axing, after he allegedly sent derogatory text messages to South African cricketers about his team-mates, might trigger England's downfall. "If KP didn't play second test V SA the score line would read SA 2 ENG 0.. SA ranked number 1 test team in the world, need I say more.. For English cricket to be in this situation after so much good work, there's only one way now for our friendly English buddies," he said on the micro-blogging website.
"Cricket lovers around the world will miss watching KP's serious talent and skill on the international stage. It's just a shame the public miss out on seeing KP play for England. When someone is gone you realise how important they are to you and or a team & in this case, how much you miss them and their character!" concluded Warne.
Writing for Fox Sports, Atherton highlighted the precariousness off the situation but did not believe that Pietersen’s England career was over. "The omission of the best player in the team, who only a week ago played one of the greatest Test innings seen in recent times by an England batsman, demonstrates just how far the relationship and trust between Pietersen and the rest of the England team and the management has broken does," he wrote.
"Much of what Pietersen does is calculating but not always well calculated. This time his response, designed not to alienate himself any farther from his colleagues, was sensible. Pietersen thought he was bullet-proof; Flower and Strauss have sent a message that no one is. But there is too much at stake for him and for England for this to be a permanent divorce."
Atherton compared Pietersen being discarded with the former England batsman Ken Barrington who was jettisoned from the team after scoring a 'slow' century against a toothless New Zealand team in 1965. "This has been a remarkable few days, and Pietersen's axing will go down in the annals of famous non-selections, such as Ken Barrington, disciplined for slow scoring after hitting a hundred in a Test in 1965."
Michael Vaughan, another former England captain, felt it would take some time before Pietersen gets a chance to play for England again. "If it's true that he sent those texts, it will take a long time for him to be allowed back," he told the BBC. "It's been a mad, but also a very sad week for the England cricket team. There are no real winners, but one very big loser and that's Kevin Pietersen.
"I don't think he's getting the right advice. I don't know who is advising him but in my eyes they are not doing the right job for Kevin. We don't know what has been going on behind the scene for the last few months, because the text messages could only be a tipping point. There's no way he could have arrived in that dressing room at Lord's on Tuesday morning. It will take time, but he will get another chance. I hope he does."