Kevin Pietersen’s claim that he did nothing wrong over the Peter Moores affair has been backed by key figures in English cricket, including former Warwickshire chief executive Dennis Amiss, who now sits on the ECB management board.
Pietersen has vented his frustration at the manner in which his reign as captain came to a crashing end, following the revelation that he and coach Moores were no longer willing to work together.
In particular, the South Africa-born batsman railed against his widespread vilification which followed claims that he had given the England and Wales Cricket Board a ‘back me or sack me’ ultimatum in his row with Moores.
“People talk about my ego as if it’s out of control. But if I had any kind of ego, I would have held on to the captaincy and taken all the privileges that go with it and all the perks,” said Pietersen, who announced his resignation on Wednesday shortly before Moores was sacked.
“What hurts me was the character assassination that has been totally unfounded. And that is the reason why I want to get my story across so that people can understand that I have done absolutely nothing wrong.”
One of the most damning claims made against Pietersen was that the leak of his argument with Moores was, at least partially, his responsibility.
ECB vice-chairman and management board member Amiss shot down that suggestion, however, when he described the untenable situation into which the governing body had been backed.
Amiss said: “Once the information was in the public domain that Kevin Pietersen didn’t want Peter Moores as his coach, it was always going to be impossible to resolve amicably – the ECB board was put in an impossible position.
“We don’t believe Kevin Pietersen leaked the information, we understand his frustration at it being leaked by other parties.”
Pietersen is believed to have been asked to write a strategy for the way forward for England in which he demanded Moores’ removal, and it is now thought that the leak stemmed from that emailed document – although the culprit or culprits remain unknown.
But despite the 28-year-old appearing increasingly innocent over the leak, Amiss insisted a desire for a new start among ECB board members meant he had to go.
“It was felt that we wanted a clean piece of paper, we wanted to rebuild and we wanted a completely unified team,” he said.
“We want to try to move forward, go into a new era, with a new captain and a new coach, and play some positive cricket because everybody wants England to be successful.”
Amiss added: “Kevin is very much part of the future.”
Former skipper Mike Gatting also leapt to Pietersen’s defence, claiming he had never intended his issues with Moores to become public knowledge. “KP was asked to write his future plans...the coach is a crucial man and if he felt he wasn’t right, then fine,” Gatting said.
For his part, Pietersen remains determined to keep starring for his adopted country and hinted at a future bid to reclaim the captaincy, insisting he has “unfinished business” remaining with the role.
Former Australia and Yorkshire batsman Darren Lehmann and Kent director of cricket Graham Ford have, meanwhile, expressed interest in replacing Moores.
Ford knows Pietersen well from their time together at Natal and said: “Kevin and I have had a really good relationship for a long time and I would like to think there’s sufficient respect for him to work with me.”
Lehmann added: “Yes, I’m interested. It’s something I’d definitely consider.”