Pietersen told to reveal details of provocative texts before England return considered

England will demand that Kevin Pietersen tells the truth and reveals the full extent of his criticism of Andrew Strauss in his 'provocative' texts to South African players before they will consider allowing him back.

The ECB are far from impressed with Pietersen's apology, which came via an email from his agent and lawyer on Tuesday night, and want a complete and honest explanation before they will begin forgiving him and let him resume his international career.

The bottom line is that they want to know precisely what was in the texts — and Sportsmail understands they would not be happy if they knew.


Clearing things up: Strauss spoke to the media about Pietersen on Wednesday

Clearing things up: Strauss spoke to the media about Pietersen on Wednesday

Axed: Kevin Pietersen has been dropped for the third Test at Lord's

Axed: Pietersen has been dropped for the third Test at Lord's

It emerged during a dramatic day at Lord’s that Pietersen's England future is still very much in doubt, with captain Strauss saying he felt 'let down' by his team-mate, even though the exiled superstar took what he thought was the crucial step towards rehabilitation by finally saying sorry.

'The apology is a first step but there is a lot more to investigate in all this,' said Strauss. 'This is about trust and respect and it’s not going to be resolved overnight.'

England had told Pietersen he had to apologise this week if he was to have any chance of playing in the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka next month but the apology did not go far enough.

Indeed, his comeback seemed as far away as ever on Wednesday when Strauss refused to say whether he thought Pietersen would play for his adopted country again.

'I feel a little bit let down because I've always got on well with Kevin and all this is a bit surprising to me,' said Strauss, who becomes the ninth Englishman to make 100 Test appearances when he leads his side into their must-win final match against South Africa at Lord’s.

Life goes on: England train at Lord's on Wednesday

Life goes on: England train at Lord's on Wednesday

Life goes on: England train at Lord's on Wednesday

'If we are going to resolve it, it needs to be face to face, away from the media spotlight, PR companies and press releases. We can't sweep this under the carpet.'

That was a reference to Pietersen stopping short of admitting the infamous texts to 'close friends' in the South African dressing room were derogatory towards Strauss, and his questionable decision to engage in a public relations exercise rather than talking openly and properly with Strauss, Andy Flower and Hugh Morris.

Strauss added: 'It's been hanging over us since Kevin's press conference after Headingley and there was a certain amount of relief when we met up on Monday that a decision had been made and we could concentrate on the Test.

'The decision to leave him out here was brave and correct because his position in this Test was untenable.'

Textgate: Pietersen criticised Strauss

Textgate: Pietersen criticised Strauss

Textgate: Pietersen criticised Strauss

Graeme Smith, making a record 94th Test appearance as captain, said Pietersen had chosen an 'interesting' word in describing the texts as provocative.

'Kevin has relationships with people on our side he has played with, grown up with,’ said Smith. 'Maybe he invited them for dinner, I don't know.'

Clearly there is a need for more talks between Pietersen and the ECB but they will have to wait, not only because of the decisive Test that begins on Thursday but also because Pietersen has reportedly gone on holiday to Portugal.

That means the chances of him being named in the World Twenty20 squad on Saturday are minimal.


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has received an apology from Kevin Pietersen and an admission that he did send ‘provocative’ text messages to members of the South African team.

Kevin Pietersen has said in his apology: 'I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team. The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes. I apologise to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts. I truly didn't mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake.'

England managing director Hugh Morris said: 'We are in receipt of Kevin’s apology, but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years. Critically, those discussions should take place behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight.

'A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone’s best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen’s potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered.

'At the moment we have an important Investec Test match to focus on and therefore ECB will make no further comment until such time as is appropriate.'