LONDON: Kevin Pietersen “isn’t on the radar” for an England recall, coach Peter Moores told reporters on Thursday as his squad prepared to fly out to the West Indies.
Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves has suggested that Pietersen may yet be able to resurrect his England career, having been frozen out of the national set-up a year ago.
The South Africa-born batsman agreed a return to Surrey last week in a bid to enhance his chances of a recall, but Moores says that his entire focus is on the three-Test series in the Caribbean.
“For me, Kevin’s not on this trip, so I don’t need to focus on Kevin at all,” Moores told a media conference at Gatwick Airport.
“My focus is to support (captain) Alastair (Cook) as I always would and the 16 players on this tour.
“At the end of that summer (2014) we’d gone through a tough summer, and started to play the sort of attacking cricket people like, and we like. That’s our focus at the moment.
“From my point of view, Kevin isn’t on the radar. So he can’t be in my or Cooky’s focus at all.”
Moores also expressed “frustration” that speculation about Pietersen was overshadowing the fact that players such as Yorkshire batsman Adam Lyth were in line to make their Test debuts.
“It’s not about me getting personal; it’s about the focus on the England team,” he said. “The frustration for me is that people whose dreams are being made by going on this tour aren’t being mentioned.
“They are not getting any air time and it’s frustrating. We’ve got some very, very good players. That’s very exciting. I understand Kevin’s a huge subject, but I don’t think we can be drawn into that.”
Lyth ‘in tears’
Skipper Cook echoed Moores’s concerns.
“I was with Adam when he got his phone-call in Dubai, and it was such a refreshing thing to see,” said Cook.
“He was in tears talking to his mum, a gritty Yorkshireman.
“To be standing in the airport in his England suit for the first time, he’ll remember this forever. We’ve got our first team meeting in half an hour and that’s what we’ll want to talk about.
“To be honest with you, contrary to a lot of what guys read in the media, I’m a long way from that decision (about Pietersen).
“We’ve got these 16 guys going to the West Indies who are desperate to turn around England cricket. We need to get back to winning ways, and that’s all these 16 guys and support staff are focused on.”
Moores also said that there was no ill-feeling between himself and Cook after the Essex batsman expressed disappointment over his omission from England’s World Cup squad.
“We can look back at everything and me and Cooky have spoken a lot all the way through,” said Moores.
“Alastair was disappointed not to be involved, but we’ve got to look forward now.
“There’s a lot of noise and emotion around English cricket — that’s understandable — but we’ve got 16 players here, to go to the West Indies to fight to win a Test series.”
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