Coach Flower rejects Warne’s Pietersen is a outcast claim

Monday, November 22, 2010

BRISBANE - England cricket team coach Andy Flower has rejected former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne’s claim that Kevin Pietersen is an outcast from the touring team.

Warne, a close friend of Pietersen, has described the South African-born batsman’s treatment when forced out as captain last year and axed from the England one-day and Twenty20 sides this year as “ordinary” and claimed he’d made to feel “as if he’s a bit of an outcast”.

He described Pietersen as a “walking ego” who struts around, sometimes making him unpopular with teammates, but said it was important to make him feel like he’s “the man”.

“He (Pietersen) is anything but an outcast,” The Australian quoted Flower, as telling reporters in Brisbane.

He added: “He’s a good guy to have around in the dressing room, a great player to have on your side, a very dangerous player that the opposition worry about. We expect great things from him and we expect him to take part in team dynamics like everyone else and that’s what he does.”

Pietersen averages 50.72 in 12 Tests against Australia.

“Kevin does like the big stage and that’s one of the great things about him as a competitive athlete,” Flower said, adding: “He enjoys the pressure situations. He enjoys the chance to bat brilliantly while everyone’s watching. That’s part of what makes up a very fine competitor.” (ANI)

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