CRAWLEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 2, 2015) (REUTERS) – England are fully focused on winning this month’s three-match series in West Indies and not on Kevin Pietersen’s chances of making a test return, coach Peter Moores said on Thursday (April 2).
Sacked after the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia last year, the South African-born batsman rejoined county side Surrey last week to boost his comeback bid.
Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves has hinted at a Pietersen recall but Moores refused to be distracted by the issue.
“Kevin is not on this trip so I don’t need to focus on Kevin at all,” he told a news conference before the squad flew out to the Caribbean.
“My focus is to support Alastair (Cook). I always support the captain and work with those 16 players to try and make sure we put the best 11 out.”
Opening batsman Cook said Pietersen’s fate was in the hands of the ECB, not his.
“Contrary to what a lot of you guys read in the media, I am a long way away from that decision-making,” said the England test skipper.
“It is not down to us. We’ve got 16 guys going to West Indies who are desperate to start turning around English cricket from what’s happened over the last three months.”
Under new one-day skipper Eoin Morgan, England were woeful in the recent 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and were knocked out in the first round.
“We need to get back to winning ways,” said Cook. “In terms of a brand of cricket it’s about trying to win this series and that’s all these 16 guys and the support staff can focus on.
“Everything else, the ECB, the hierarchy, have to deal with that.”
It was Cook’s first official appearance in front of the media since being dropped as England’s one-day captain before the World Cup and he said he was looking forward to the West Indies tour.
After two practice games in St Kitts, England take on West Indies in the first test in Antigua starting on April 13.