Devastated Pietersen out of World Cup and IPL


CHENNAI – England star Kevin Pietersen said he was “absolutely devastated” that his long-standing hernia problem had ended his World Cup and shattered his lucrative Indian Premier League plans. “Sad to leave India.. Love the people & the ospitality. Alvida doston (Goodbye friends),” he wrote on his Twitter account on Monday. “I fly home tonight. Out of the WC & IPL.. Absolutely devastated.” The 30-year-old will undergo a hernia operation which he had hoped to postpone until after the World Cup while Eoin Morgan will be called in as a replacement player. England coach Andy Flower said he had hoped Pietersen could “bite the bullet” but that the player had said the pain was “too debilitating”.
Pietersen was clearly troubled during England’s Group B win over his native South Africa in Chennai on Sunday where he made just two off three balls. He looked more of a threat with his part-time off-spin than with the bat in a tense six-run victory that reignited England’s bid for a quarter-final spot. “The medical advice was that he could get through the tournament,” Flower told the BBC. “The hernia problem that he had would not get significantly worse and he wasn’t going to tear anything so we hoped that he would get through the tournament ok, take pain killers when needed and bite the bullet.
“Unfortunately he says that the pain is too debilitating and he can’t go on like that, so it’s a pretty simple decision in replacing him.” Pietersen’s injury was diagnosed following England’s 6-1 one-day series loss in Australia which came after the Test side’s Ashes series triumph. England left for the subcontinent just three days after returning from the tour of Australia which started in October last year.
Flower, in a subsequent interview with Sky Sports, said losing Pietersen had been a blow to England’s hopes of winning a first World Cup trophy. “He’s a world class player,” Flower said.
“I thought he was forming an interesting opening partnership with Andrew Strauss. “In three of the four games they’ve played together they have looked good up front and they put on significant partnerships that have kicked off good batting performances.” Pietersen’s message to his Twitter followers ended speculation that advancing his surgery might leave him free to play in the latest IPL which starts next month. He was due to earn around $650,000 playing for the Deccan Chargers. But the news will be welcomed by England officials who will look forward to arguably their most talented batsman being fully fit for a busy home season of international cricket, featuring series against Sri Lanka and India. The first Test against Sri Lanka starts in Cardiff on May 26.
Former Ireland batsman Morgan would have been in England’s original squad but for a finger injury. “Eoin Morgan is an exciting cricketer,” Flower added. “It’s going to be good to have him back.” Ravi Bopara, Morgan’s replacement, made a man-of-the-match winning 60 against South Africa in Chennai. But both Morgan and Bopara are naturally middle-order batsmen which leaves Flower needing a new opening partner for England captain Strauss.