KP 'dropped for good of the team'

The Bolton News: Kevin Pietersen was released early from his ECB contract in the wake of England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash Kevin Pietersen was released early from his ECB contract in the wake of England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash

A "disaster" of a winter forced the England and Wales Cricket Board to make the changes that led to the end of Kevin Pietersen's England career, according to Stuart Broad.

Pietersen was released early from his ECB contract in the wake of England's disastrous 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia, that also spelled the end for team director Andy Flower.

Broad insists the decision to cut Pietersen's glittering international career short was taken in England's best long-term interests.

Broad will captain England in their World Twenty20 campaign next month, and believes the Bangladesh tournament provides the perfect opportunity to move past the Pietersen saga.

"I was aware of discussions towards the end of the Australia tour but I was not deeply involved particularly," said Broad, rejecting any role in Pietersen's exit.

"It was a decision made by guys that have the English cricket team at their heart, and they want the team to improve.

"The guys that made the decision are very keen for England cricket to move forward, there's no egos involved in making decisions like this."

Broad, who was speaking at Gatwick Airport as England prepared to fly out to the West Indies for a limited-overs series, added: "It's about improving performances on the field and atmospheres off it. All I can focus on is this trip now.

"Personally I've not captained Kev a huge amount, but when I did 2012 I think was the last time, and he put in a couple of match-winning performances.

"He's done that for many a year but we've also won some great games without him.

"I have fond memories of KP from 2010 when he was the kingpin in helping us win that (Twenty20) World Cup.

"But it's time for the guys in that changing room to realise they can be match-winners and can step up now.

"The decision was taken from guys who were desperate for England to improve in the future, not just in the next four or five months.

"We do have to make improvements, that's obvious, it was heartbreaking to lose 5-0 and we lost a lot of good men in doing that.

"It's a winter that was a disaster, but as an England side we have to look forward now.

"We can't dwell on it now and we must move forward."

England jetted out to the Caribbean on Friday for a three-week tour building towards the World Twenty20.

Former Warwickshire spinner Ashley Giles, the England limited-overs coach and a contender to replace Flower as the coach for all three formats, will lead the team into their next two assignments with Paul Collingwood also drafted onto the coaching staff.

Strike bowler Broad said while Pietersen's batting flair will be missed in short-format clashes, he challenged England's next generation to start building reputations.

"There's no doubt Kev was a fantastic player for England, part of a hugely successful era," said Broad.

"But we've got to look forward to these games and the Caribbean.

"We don't spend a lot of time together as a T20 side, so we've got to make use of these next three weeks.

"We are going to Bangladesh in three weeks' time with an opportunity to show something different.

"When you've lost so many games over the last six months, it hurts, so we've just got to get back to winning to be honest.

"Twenty20 is about match-winners and taking the game by the scruff of the neck, so that's the challenge for this young group now.

"There's no doubt the players let Andy Flower down this winter, the coach can only do so much.

"We let the coaches down this winter and it's up to the players to respond and perform on the field."

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