Kevin Pietersen: Andy Flower 'had it in for me' during England reign
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen says ex-coach Andy Flower "was always trying to find ways to get rid of me".
Pietersen was sacked in February by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), five days after Flower resigned.
"The ECB needed a scapegoat," Pietersen, 34, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "Flower had it in for me ever since he took over.
"When they sacked me they never gave me any reasons. I still don't know right now why I'm not playing for England."
He added: "The ECB needed someone to walk, to depart from the team."
Pietersen was speaking in the build-up to the release of his new book on Thursday, which features allegations of a bullying culture in the England dressing-room and accuses Flower of ruling by fear.
In spite of his claims, and the manner of his fall-out with the ECB, Pietersen still harbours hope of playing for England again.
"Anything can happen," he told BBC Breakfast: "I came to England as a little off-spin bowler who could hardly bat. I turned out to be England's greatest run-scorer, so who knows?"
Born in South Africa, Pietersen scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47 in 104 Tests and captained England in three Tests.
He also scored 4,440 ODI runs at 40.73, making him England's leading international run-scorer overall.
In January, in the wake of the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, Flower stood down as England technical director after almost five years in charge.
Pietersen had his central contract terminated by the ECB later that week following a meeting that also involved captain Alastair Cook.
When the announcement was made, ECB managing director Paul Downton said: "The time is right to rebuild not only the team but also the team ethic."
Part of Pietersen's sacking included a confidentiality agreement covering all parties, which expired at the end of September.
Pietersen said he "didn't have a great relationship" with Flower throughout his tenure.
|Kevin Pietersen on Tuesday's Today programme|
|On England captain Alastair Cook: "I feel sorry for him. The ECB said it was his decision to get rid of me. I believe in him, but I think he's been put in a very difficult position for someone who doesn't like confrontation."|
|On back-to-back Ashes series: "To play 10 back-to-back Ashes Test matches for players was incredibly hard - it was a complete disaster."|
|On a possible England return: "Playing the political game is something that I never did. I've got my faults, and when I've got my faults I'll acknowledge that. For me I feel my career was cut short, but who knows what's round the corner."|
He also defended his role in the 2012 text message scandal, when he was dropped by England for sending texts - reportedly about captain Andrew Strauss - to opposition players during the Test series against South Africa.
Although Pietersen apologised at the time, he told the Today programme on Tuesday: "I wouldn't say I did anything wrong but I didn't defend the position of Strauss.
"In the England dressing room I felt isolated, I felt like I was being bullied."