Warne defends Pietersen, blames England cricket authorities

Melbourne: Spin legend Shane Warne has defended his friend Kevin Pietersen, saying the biggest tragedy is that the controversial batsman is not playing cricket for England.

Pietersen’s international career is on the ropes after he texted South African players during the second Test this month.

He was dumped for the third Test, and the latest allegation is that in one of the texts, Pietersen had called England captain Andrew Strauss an extremely derogative word in Afrikaans.

Warne said English cricket authorities were partly to blame for the current situation, and called for both sides to arrive at a compromise.

“Kevin will be one of the first people to admit that he`s acted in a way that`s been a bit silly and stupid and I`m sure he`d like to take back a few of his actions. Knowing Kevin Pietersen and living with (him) for a year or so ... and becoming friends with him a while ago, I understand what made him tick,” Warne said.

“There`s a bit too much ego at the ECB (English Cricket Board), there`s no give or take or compromise. Both sides are at fault - the bottom line is Kevin Pietersen is not playing international cricket, which is a tragedy.”

Warne said that Pietersen was a special player and that some personalities needed different treatment.

“He has to commit to the team first and you have to also understand that some people need different things. The (English) cricket team, I think they`ve let Kevin Pietersen down - it shouldn`t have gotten to this stage. If he doesn`t sign his England contract, if he doesn`t play for England again, I just think that`s a tragedy,’ Warne said.