Axing Pietersen a big decision, reckons Hampshire player

Hampshire: Hampshire Royals youngster James Vince has met Kevin Pietersen only once, and believes the club has taken a big decision in deciding to omit him from the side.

Vince is one of the batsmen preferred to KP when they take part in today’s Twenty20 Finals Day at the Rose Bowl.

England had made the star man Pietersen available for the showpiece event, in which his county are both hosts and semi-finalists, but with the 30-year-old having stated his intentions to leave at the end of the season, Hampshire decided to omit him from their squad.

Vince, whose side take on Essex in the first semi-final, told SunSport: “It’s a big decision to leave Kevin out. But he showed his intention to leave and so they’ve decided to stick with the side that got us there.”

He added: “He’s not been around too much and I’ve only met him once - that was at the one game he played this year. There hasn’t been much talk about it among the players as it’s not anything we control. It’s been his decision.”

Vince has been tipped for greatness himself by none other than former England coach Duncan Fletcher.

The 2005 Ashes mastermind claimed the 19-year-old was ‘the new Michael Vaughan’ after working as a batting consultant to Hampshire.

And while he takes the praise with a pinch of salt, Vince is so keen to make Fletcher his guru he will fly out to work with him in the off-season.

“It’s obviously flattering he (Duncan) compared me to someone like Michael Vaughan, But I haven’t deliberately modelled my game on him,” Vince said.