London: Darren Gough has blasted the decision to axe out-of-sorts Kevin Pietersen from England`s squad for their upcoming limited overs matches as "absolutely pathetic".
The 39-year-old former international told TalkSport that Pietersen -- the star of England`s winning World Twenty20 campaign earlier this year -- deserved a chance to rediscover his form against Pakistan.
England selectors announced yesterday that Pietersen had been ditched from the squad for the two international Twenty20 games and five one-day matches against Pakistan, prompting a four-letter outburst by the batsman.
However Gough rallied to the defence of Pietersen, who now faces an official investigation into his angry reaction on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"He`s England`s best one-day player and what better way for him to get back into form than to go out against Pakistan and belt it," Gough said.
"It`s absolutely pathetic that you can drop the man who was player of the tournament at the World Twenty20 earlier this year.”
Gough also insisted Pietersen should continue to be a part of England`s plans for their defence of the Ashes in Australia.
"If they don`t take him to the Ashes, we might as well just give Australia the urn," Gough added, contrasting Pietersen`s treatment with the way Australia has backed out-of-form players in the past.”
"What would Australia have done? I didn`t see them drop Mike Hussey when he was struggling. I didn`t see them drop Michael Clarke when he went through a bad run of form. They stick with them because they`re world class."
While Pietersen clearly has Gough`s support, another of his former international team-mates - ex-England captain Michael Vaughan - believes the star was wrong to voice his opinion on Twitter.
"What he did on his Twitter account was totally wrong," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live. "I think that`s something Kevin will regret for a long time."
Vaughan, who led the England team when Pietersen burst onto the scene in 2004, is confident England`s handling of the situation will help Pietersen in the long run.
"I actually think that England have managed it in a good way," Vaughan said.
"They feel that he needs more cricket and a couple of four-day games rather than playing the one-day series against Pakistan just to get that form and feel for batting again.”
"I don`t see it as a dropping. I just see it as the management of a player who needs to be playing more of the longer format of the game than the one day to try to get him into some kind of form leading into the winter."