Cricket

Jayawardene feels Pietersen should back in the English side

In recent news, discarded English batsman Kevin Pietersen found the verbal support of Sri Lankan great Mahela Jayawardene.

Sussex star Jayawardene believes England are wrong to discard a batsman Kevin Pietersen ahead of the Ashes clash with Australia.

Jayawardene is set to go head-to-head with Pietersen at Arundel Castle tomorrow when Sussex take on Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast.

New ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss shut the door on a potential international return for Pietersen last month after the controversial batsman had made 355 for Surrey in a Championship match.

Jayawardene said: “I haven’t played against Kevin for quite a while so I am looking forward to it. He is a fantastic player and it is unfortunate he is not playing for England any more.

“I still believe he has a lot of cricket left in him at the highest level so it is a tough call to decide you are not going to pick a talented guy like him.”

“I would probably have him in the team for the Ashes. It would be a win-win situation as if England did well then great and if not they could move on without Kevin after the Ashes. Just his experience would be important. The young guys could learn so much from him and it would take the pressure off the other experienced players a little bit.”

Pietersen has confirmed he will be making his first appearance in the NatWest T20 Blast this season at Arundel Castle tomorrow as he prepares for a stint in the Caribbean Premier League.

Pietersen is set to play for St. Lucia Zouks in the Carbbean Premier League which starts from 20th June. He even skipped his IPL venture so that he could concentrate on county cricket which in turn would have helped him to get his long lost place in the national squad.

Jayawardene’s former Sri Lanka team-mate Kumar Sangakkara could also feature with the star attractions expected to attract a crowd of around 8,000.

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