Axing Kevin Pieterson took lots of guts, admits Alastair Cook

By Jayanta Oinam | Updated: Apr 01, 2014, 22:46 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: Alastair Cook finally opened up on the events leading to the axing of flambouyant batsman Kevin Pietersen. The England Test cricket captain said that it took lots of guts and consideration to let go a player of Pietersen`s stature.

The South Africa born Pietersen was relaid the news of his axing on February 4 by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Popularly known as KP, the 33-year-old middle-order batsman was still the all-time leading run scorer for England in all formats of the game.

The witch-hunting after the debacle have occupied public domain for a long time and have forced team director Andy Flower to resign in January. Speaking to a leading channel, Cook affirmed that English cricket team`s dressing room would be stronger without KP.

After the Ashes whitewash down-under, the ECB constituted a three-man panel for the post-mortem. Cook added that, he – being a member of the panel, already knew that it will become public soon.

Pledging to work with the team and help restore team unity, Cook continued that “We all know how important team culture and team unity is.” After KP`s axing, the board reinstated Flower as Test coach, splitting duties with Ashley Giles. The former England spinner now takes care of limited-overs formats.

The ECB later declared through a statement that “England team needs to rebuild after the whitewash in Australia.”

“To do that we (ECB) must invest in our captain Alastair Cook and we must support him in creating a culture in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other,” it further stated.

Finally, it explained KP`s axing by saying "It is for those reasons we have decided to move on without Kevin Pietersen."