Botham 'not surprised' by KP omission

PA Sport
Ian Botham, pictured, admitted he was not surprised that Kevin Pietersen was left out of the squad to tour India
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Ian Botham, pictured, admitted he was not surprised that Kevin Pietersen was left out of the squad to …

Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Ian Botham agree that Kevin Pietersen has only himself to blame after being left out of the squad to tour India.

Pietersen was absent from the list of 16 names for next month's trip, having also been left out of the final Test against South Africa and the World Twenty20 squad after sending "derogatory" text messages to South Africa players earlier in the three-Test series.

A statement released on his behalf said he was "naturally disappointed" to miss out, having "gone to great lengths to reach a reconciliation" with the England and Wales Cricket Board, but Botham told Sky Sports News: "(It is) no real surprise at all, it is a case of moving on."

He added: "He is a great player. It is his choice, it was a strange thing to do to send those messages. If he held his hands up straight away and apologised then fine, but he didn't. It's very difficult for all parties. We move on."

Hussain added: "It's a shame because any time you tour India you want the best cricketers and best players of spin.

"Pietersen fits both categories. India will be a lot happier with Kevin Pietersen not going out there, but most of the making of this has come from Pietersen, who has made some horrendous errors."

Botham, though, admits Pietersen will be able to fill his time profitably playing Twenty20 in India and Australia - and believes it is time for England to plan for a long-term future without him.

"He will do very well. He will cope, and will go off to play (the Indian Premier League), the Big Bash," he said. "England will be okay. We had a great time, he has been a great player but we move on. It's not worked out. No ifs and buts, the reality is he isn't going."

National selector Geoff Miller insists the Pietersen issue was taken out of his hands by the England management team.

"We are just the selectors, they let us know it hasn't been resolved," he told Sky Sports News. "It is disappointing, he is a world-class player but it is about a team game and I can't keep going on about that point. You want to take your best players but he wasn't available, we have to move on with other players."

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