My exit helped England retain Ashes: Pietersen

London: Former skipper Kevin Pietersen believes his exit from leadership and the removal of Peter Moores as coach two years ago laid the foundation for England retaining the Ashes in Australia.

Pietersen and Moores were sacked in January last year after their relation soared beyond repair. The exit of the duo paved the way for the current captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower, who proved successful ever since.

"You know what ... I have never said this before ... I lost the captaincy, I got rid of the captaincy for the good of English cricket," Pietersen was quoted as saying in the `Daily Telegraph`.

"We would not be here today if I had not done what I did then. There is no way in this world that we would have continued under that regime and won the Ashes again in Australia after 24 years," he added.

Pietersen had walked away with the man-of-the-match award after the second Test win in Adelaide for scoring 227 in the first innings. He also had a significant contribution in the fourth Test victory in Melbourne which gave them an unbeatable 2-1 series lead.

In their 18-month old stint, Strauss and Flower have brought huge improvement in the England team and Pietersen feels they are the right people to guide the side.

"Strauss and Andy Flower need all the plaudits for an unbelievable 18 months and an unbelievable preparation for this team, and they are the right leadership for this team," Pietersen added.

"They are just very good at keeping us level-headed and grounded and solid," he added.

The relation between Pietersen and Moores had touched a nadir after their poor show at the Stanford Series and 5-0 thrashing in the ODI series during their India tour in December 2008.


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