Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has described the decision to end Kevin Pietersen’s England career as “tragic”.
Pietersen’s six-year association with Hampshire ended when he signed for Surrey in 2010, but Bransgrove has remained a big fan. He said: “It’s one thing not selecting someone but it’s quite another dismissing someone summarily, it’s a massive decision to end his Test career at 33.
“I feel sorry for the game, there are no winners in this case, it’s just a tragedy for cricket that we won’t get too see him play for England again.
“None of us know what’s going on in the background and people like [England cricket managing director] Paul Downton won’t have made that decision lightly, I’m sure. But it’s made a difficult job even more difficult from a performance point of view for whoever replaces Andy Flower.”
Pietersen joined Hampshire from Nottinghamshire in October 2004 amid controversy, having fallen out with his former employers at Trent Bridge.
His England bust ups have been well documented, but he was managed better by Hampshire, by both Shane Warne and Bransgrove, on the few occasions he played for the county after breaking into the England team.
“I didn’t find him particularly difficult,” said Bransgrove.
“We had a couple of hot spots like we did with a lot of players, but we managed it.
“We left him out of the team after he had said it was too inconvenient to play for us, but our main problem on that occasion was with the England management, who wanted him to play.
“I went through the mill a lot with England over that but we had a future England player in James Vince, who we wanted to develop and Kevin understood our position.”
During his Hampshire career, Pietersen scored 524 runs at 43.7 in seven County Championship matches, 651 runs at 43.4 in 17 one-day appearances and 58 at 29 in two T20 games.