‘Text’ allegation costs Pietersen his Test spot

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Kevin Pietersen was embroiled in a ‘textgate’ allegation which has cost him his place in the England team for the Third and final Test against South Africa at Lord’s starting on Thursday.

Pietersen, who released a video on Saturday night where he committed himself to all international cricket, was omitted because he has failed to confirm that he did not send derogatory texts about Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower to South Africa players during the Headingley Test. There had been reports in some South African media.

It was an allegation, according to England’s managing director, Hugh Morris, that unless unproven undermined “a unity of purpose and trust.” Pietersen made no reference to the text messages in his video apology.

A five-hour delay in naming the squad yesterday was to give Pietersen the chance to confirm the content of the messages which he did not do.

A few hours after his omission, Pietersen released a brief statement. “None of this constitutes the end of my career as an international cricketer,” he said. “To say I am gutted is an understatement. The entire episode has been demoralising for me and my family.

“I wish the team - and Straussy in particular - every success next week.”

Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow is restored to the squad.

*Barnsley’s Azeem Rafiq made an unbeaten 34 as he helped Gary Ballance, who hit 69no, take Yorkshire from 71-5 to a five wicket victory over the Unicorns in the CB40 at Headingley.

The visitors, after being 48-5, made 150-6 in 37 overs and Yorkshire’s revised target was 162 which they made with three overs to spare, Rafiq and Ballance adding 91.