YOU’VE GATT TO STAY, KP! Pi­etersen’s re­tire­ment could give Tay­lor a go

CRICKET

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY AUG 9 -

Daily Sport Tip: MIKE GAT­TING does not want to see Kevin Pi­etersen re­tire from Test cricket but be­lieves it could present a chance to an­other player.

Pi­etersen hinted next week’s fi­nal match against South Africa could be his last Test af­ter mak­ing clear last night his dis­sat­is­fac­tion with many as­pects of his em­ploy­ment by the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board.

A sen­sa­tional in­nings of 149 in the sec­ond Test at Head­in­g­ley has given Pi­etersen good rea­sons to think he is a key cog in Eng­land’s bat­ting.

For­mer cap­tain Gat­ting is un­sure of Pi­etersen’s mo­ti­va­tions for voic­ing his con­cerns in the mid­dle of a Test se­ries but is of the opin­ion the 32-year-old is not ir­re­place­able.

“I’m not sure why he wants to quit Test cricket now. But that’s up to KP,” Gat­ting said.

“He’s the man that makes the de­ci­sions.

“He’s done re­ally well for Eng­land, and he proved that again at Head­in­g­ley by play­ing a mag­nif­i­cent in­nings.

“It’ll be sad to lose him. But it will give some­body else a chance to come into the Eng­land team and prove their worth.

“He bat­ted for a lit­tle while with James Tay­lor, I’m sure he might like to play for Eng­land.

“So when some­body stands down, it gives some­body else an­other op­por­tu­nity.”

Gat­ting, who won 79 caps with Eng­land, also be­lieves this should not cloud the team’s fo­cus.

Ob­sta­cles

“It’s about the team, not about an in­di­vid­ual,” he added.

Pi­etersen had re­fused to con­firm that the de­ci­sive Lord’s Test would be his last when asked on BBC Test Match Spe­cial but added: “I would like to carry on, but there are ob­sta­cles that need to be worked out.”

Pi­etersen added: “It’s ab­so­lutely 100% not about money.

“There are clear things that I’m dis­cussing. But there are other is­sues that need to be sorted.”

KEY MAN: Kevin Pi­etersen would be missed by Mike Gat­ting

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