I retired from ODI cricket and the ECB banned me from T20s too, recalls Kevin Pietersen

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Kevin Pietersen has taken the opportunity arising from Ben Stokes’ ODI to criticize the ECB, stating he was not allowed to retire from just one format during his time. Pietersen had cited the same reason as Stokes for his exile but ECB’s policies at the time had led to a different outcome.

The problem of having jam-packed schedules in cricket is by no means new. It has plagued the community for years now and was highly prevalent even in 2012 when it forced prolific cricketer Kevin Pietersen to call time on his ODI career.

The South Africa-born Englishman had played 136 ODIs but being an all-format player was unable to keep going on all fronts. He had thus quit ODIs, with the intention to participate in the T20 World Cup later that year along with plying his trade in Tests. However, the England Cricket Board soon stated its policy barred players from having such autonomy, since the limited-overs formats fell under the same bracket and will have to be treated as a group.

"As the programming and planning for ODI and T20 format cricket are very closely linked we have a selection policy that means that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats rules himself out of consideration for both formats. The selectors will now replace Kevin in both the ODI and the T20 squads," Hugh Morris, then-managing director of the ECB, had said in a statement following Pietersen's announcement.


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Commenting on Ben Stokes’ recent retirement from ODIs, Pietersen thus couldn’t help but recall the different treatment he had received for the exact same situation a decade ago.

“I once said the schedule was horrendous and I couldn’t cope, so I retired from ODI cricket & the ECB banned me from T20s too………….,” he tweeted.

Stokes is expected to be a key member of England’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 to be held in Australia in less than three months. He had missed the last edition owing to a hiatus from cricket but will be raring to go for his first ICC marquee event since the 2019 World Cup. The 31-year-old is also the Test captain for the Three Lions, thereby being an integral member of the England Cricket setup.

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