Gillespie on Strauss radar but Pietersen not part of plans

Andrew Strauss during a photocall to unveil him as the new Director of England Cricket, at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Andrew Strauss during a photocall to unveil him as the new Director of England Cricket, at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
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New ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss says Yorkshire first-team Jason Gillespie is one of the candidates to replace Peter Moores as England head coach.

Strauss, the former England captain, also says Kevin Pietersen is not part of their plans for the Ashes summer.

Strauss cited a “massive trust issue” between himself and the record-breaking batsman, who was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board after last year’s whitewash Ashes defeat in Australia.

Pietersen had hoped for a recall after apparent pre-season encouragement from new ECB chairman Colin Graves - but even after his maiden triple-century for Surrey on Monday, he was informed within hours by Strauss that there is no imminent prospect of him playing for England again.

Strauss said: “Kevin is not part of our plans for the summer.

“This is not about Kevin Pietersen, this is about the future of English cricket.

“The trust issue has been eroded between Kevin Pietersen and the ECB.”

Strauss stopped short of announcing 34-year-old Pietersen will never add to his 104 Test caps for his adopted country, but made clear that the working relationship between the two of them is central to the decision that has been made.

As Pietersen’s Test captain in 2012, Strauss discovered the record-breaking batsman had sent “provocative” texts about him to opposition players from their native South Africa.

Strauss told Sky Sports News: “The first thing to say is now’s the time for some really honest and open conversation about Kevin Pietersen.

“No one has ever doubted Kevin Pietersen’s ability as a player. He has been a phenomenal player for England over a long period of time.

“His record stacks up to anyone in England cricket, and he should be very proud of that.

“But over months and years, the trust between himself and the ECB has eroded.”

On whether Gillespie is in pole position for the top job after guiding Yorkshire to their first county championship title for 13 years last summer, Strauss added: “Jason Gillespie is one of the candidates, absolutely.”

Strauss also underlined his backing for current England Test captain Alastair Cook, confirmed Joe Root as England’s Test vice-captain this summer and Eoin Morgan as ongoing leader of the one-day international team. He also admitted that Australian Jason Gillespie is “one of the candidates” to replace sacked coach Peter Moores.

The Pietersen issue is most pressing of all, though, and Strauss added: “We are in a situation now where there is a massive trust issue between Kevin and me.

“I wish that wasn’t the case. I’m not apportioning blame - it’s just a fact.

“That is the reality - and because of that, we’ve decided it is not in the best short-term interests of the side for him to be in it.

“I went to see him last night to let him know he’s not part of our plans for the summer.

“I can’t give him any guarantees about the future. But he’s not banned from the side.”