Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels Kevin Pietersen shouldn’t have ever played for the national team again after the 2012 text-gate scandal where the latter was found guilty of sending messages against then-skipper Andrew Strauss to the opposition team players during the course of a Test match. Pietersen was accused of sending text messages to South African players, giving them tips about how to bowl against Strauss. He also spoke against then-coach Andy Flower to the rival team players during the Headingley Test. Following the controversy, Pietersen was axed from the England squad for the 2012 Lord’s Test against South Africa. Also Read - ICC's Guidelines 'Weird And Off-putting' But Health And Safety More Important: MCC Chief Kumar Sangakkara
Pietersen, an exceptionally talented batsman, was part of four Ashes series wins, including the watershed 2005 victory but later he fell out of the England set-up. However, the full content of those messages sent during the second Test in Leeds in August 2012 remains unknown. Some say the South African expat went as far as giving fast bowler Morne Morkel tips on how to get Strauss out. Also Read - Virat Kohli Recalls How He Earned MS Dhoni's Trust For India Captaincy, Says Becoming Skipper Not Even in my Wildest Dreams
“I’ve never seen 100 per cent clarification that that was the case, but if he did, I personally said at the time and have said it since, he shouldn’t have ever played for England again,” Vaughan was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au. Also Read - MCC Chief Kumar Sangakkara on Future of ICC T20 World Cup 2020, Says Too Early to Answer Any Questions
“If an England player, doesn’t matter who it is, found to be texting the opposing international team how to get one of your own players out I don’t think he should have played for England again,” said Vaughan, one of the most successful England captains.
Pietersen was dropped from the England squad for the third Test in Lord’s against South Africa but he returned for the tour of India later in 2012 and went on to play 16 more Test before his retirement in 2014. He scored 8181 runs from 104 Tests.
“It had a huge effect on English cricket for a while and I still think it has a massive effect on a few individuals. I still think there are a few who have come out of this worse,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan also claimed that Pietersen’s multi-million dollar IPL paycheck made his England teammates jealous which further tarnished his image in the dressing room. Pietersen was among the first few England players to feature in the IPL and was the joint-costliest buy in the 2009 auction.
“I think there was a lot of jealousy. And the players will completely deny it now but I think there was at the time when Kevin was on a massive contract.”