Lord MacLaurin: Kevin Pietersen is not a team player

Michael Clarke (left) shares a joke with Kevin Pietersen
Michael Clarke (left) shares a joke with Kevin Pietersen

England should not touch Kevin Pietersen "with a bargepole", says former cricket boss Lord MacLaurin.

New England and Wales Cricket Board director of cricket Andrew Strauss has told Pietersen he will not be selected this summer because of "trust issues".

Former ECB chairman MacLaurin backed the move, saying: "He's an absolute maverick, he's just not a team player."

However, Australia captain Michael Clarke believes England will be weaker without Pietersen.

South Africa-born Pietersen, 34, is England's top run-scorer if all three formats of the game are combined, but has not played for his country since he was sacked in February 2014.

He scored an unbeaten 355 for Surrey against Leicestershire on Tuesday but was told he will be overlooked for this summer's five-Test home series against Australia.

MacLaurin told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme: "If you're running a team, whether in business or in cricket, you have to have trust in all the players and quite clearly over the years, sadly, Kevin Pietersen hasn't shown trust and I don't think there's any room for anybody like that in the England side.

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"He had a run-in with Andrew Strauss, one of our best captains ever. He wrote that inflammatory book about the ECB - I just don't think we need people like that.

"You harvest what you plant and he sadly planted a lot of very wrong things in his life."

MacLaurin was also critical of Pietersen's form in the 5-0 Ashes whitewash suffered in Australia in 2013-14 - despite the fact he finished as England's top scorer in the series.

"Look at the last Test series in Australia and see what Mr Pietersen did," added MacLaurin. "He scored two 50s in 10 innings and averaged under 30. I might actually go out and do that."

Clarke said Pietersen's absence will make his job easier as he looks to steer his side to a first Ashes series win in England since 2001.

Talking before Australia's two-Test series in the West Indies, he said: "There's probably two sides for me.

"There's the personal side where I feel for KP because I get on well with him and I'd love to see him back playing cricket for England.

"His form has been outstanding, he's still a great player and I know he wants to play.

"The other side is we go there soon to play against England. Any team without Kevin Pietersen in it I don't think is as strong."

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