Australia captain Clarke feels for mate Kevin Pietersen
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian test captain Michael Clarke says he feels for Kevin Pietersen and would like to see him back in the England cricket side — to a degree.
Andrew Strauss, England’s new director of cricket, last week said a “massive trust issue” would prevent the hard-hitting batsman from returning to the England team.
Clarke will captain the South African-born Pietersen in the Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash Twenty20 side next season.
“There’s probably two sides for me: there’s the personal side where obviously I feel for KP, because I get on well with him and I’d love to see him back playing for England,” Clarke said at Sydney Airport on Sunday before leaving for a two-test Australian tour of the West Indies.
“His form has been outstanding and he’s still a great player and I know he wants to play, so I feel for him on that side. The other side (is) we go there soon to play against England, so any team without Kevin Pietersen in it I don’t think is as strong.”
Clarke, who was sidelined by back and hamstring injuries in the lead-up to Australia’s World Cup win last month, said he felt fit and healthy.
Australia plays a three-day tour match against a West Indies Cricket Board XI at North Sound, Antigua from May 27-29, followed by test matches in Roseau, Dominica from June 3-7 and in Kingston, Jamaica from June 11-15.
The Ashes begin with the first of five test matches in Cardiff, Wales on July 8.