Pietersen`s showdown with Flower during Ashes sealed career fate: Oz report

Sydney: An Australian report has suggested that a crisis meeting of the England squad in Melbourne led to a train of events which culminated in batsman Kevin Pietersen having a showdown with then-coach Andy Flowerthat sealed his fate as an international cricketer.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Alastair Cook and Matt Prior, the captain and vice-captain, called an emergency meeting of the players on December 30, which should have been the fifth day of the fourth Test, without the knowledge of the coaching staff.

The report mentioned that it was agreed that a `schoolmaster-pupil` relationship had developed in which players were relying too heavily on Flower to provide direction rather than standing on their own feet after which Pietersen, persuaded of his own interpretation, embarked on an anti-Flower rant.

Stating that Pietersen misjudged the point the other players were trying to make, the report said that he believed that the players were accusing the head coach of being overly prescriptive after which he was told that it was not a witch-hunt against Flower, who had fallen out with him before during the Peter Moores sacking in 2009.

The report further said that when new ECB managing director Paul Downton met Flower for his tour debrief, this row helped to harden attitudes against Pietersen, after which the previously neutral Downton then held debriefs with senior players in Australia, the coaching staff and Cook before sacking Pietersen this week.