London: Alastair Cook has said he is disappointed England`s premier Test batsman Kevin Pietersen`s season has been ended sooner than they would have liked, but the captain added the fact that he would miss the Indian Premier League (IPL) season could be a blessing in disguise for them ahead of the all-important Ashes series this year.
Pietersen arrives home on Friday with Cook declaring his reintegration a success but his crocked right knee a source of intrigue. Ruled out of the final Test with New Zealand in Auckland, Pietersen made a bizarre farewell appearance on tour at net practice hours after his sick note had been sanctioned by the Lord``s medical wing.
Pietersen is understood to have taken out payment protection insurance on his one million pound worth IPL assignment. Cook said the South Africa-born batsman has done extremely well, and it is great having him back in the team.
Cook added he said at the beginning of the winter, in India, you want to be able to pick from your best squad and they managed to do that, and Pietersen fitted in really well. The left-handed opener added clearly they are disappointed Pietersen could not get through this decider because to win any Test series away from home is a great achievement and you want your best players available.
Cook added he doesn`t know his personal situation about insurance and the IPL, adding you can look at it as being a good thing for English cricket that he is missing the Twenty20 tournament, but at the moment it`s not great for English cricket that one of our best players has an injury concern going into the summer.
Cook said it is important that Pietersen is fit as soon as he can be, adding sometimes you do look at future planning, but if this was an Ashes Test match, he wouldn`t be playing in it.
First Published: Friday, March 22, 2013, 16:15