Botham demands answers over Pietersen

Former England allrounder Sir Ian Botham has expressed his disgust at Kevin Pietersen’s axing and called on the “amateur comedians” at the England board to provide answers.

England’s management announced on Tuesday evening the unanimous decision to rebuild after the disappointing winter tour of Australia without their star batsman, ending Pietersen’s international career after nine turbulent years.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain on Wednesday demanded a detailed explanation, and Botham echoed those sentiments.

In his column in the UK’s Daily Mirror, the 58-year-old wrote: “I’m baffled, exasperated and disgusted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) think they can get rid of Kevin Pietersen, issue a statement full of corporate waffle, and hope everyone will forget about it.

“Well, I’ve got news for the amateur comedians who run the ECB. We want answers, the truth. We want detailed, precise reasons behind their decision to end Pietersen’s international career.

“If you sacked a factory worker on the shop floor without telling him why he’s been fired, he would take his employers to the cleaners through the courts.

“The ECB can’t just hide behind their blazers and wait for the fuss to die down. They can’t leave everyone to speculate why England have ditched one of their finest players.”

He continued: “The buffoons at Lord’s don’t just owe KP an explanation – although you might have thought it was a common courtesy to outline why he has been sent into exile.

“They owe the paying public, the fans who spend 100 (pounds) on a ticket to home Test matches, a reason why they have discarded the star attraction.

“They owe the punters who spend their life-savings to follow England halfway round the world, only to see them get hammered 5-0, more than a fudged statement.”

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