1. ITV Report

Kevin Pietersen feels 'deeply misled' by England exile says Piers Morgan

Pietersen hit 355 not out for Surrey. Photo: PA

Kevin Pietersen feels "deeply misled" after being informed he is still not part of England's plans, despite making a resounding success of his return to county cricket.

Piers Morgan, Pietersen's celebrity confidant, has responded to new England cricket director Andrew Strauss' decision to rule out the prospect of the record-breaking batsman figuring in this Ashes summer by describing it as "vindictive... inexplicable and unjustifiable".

Pietersen, axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board last year after the whitewash Ashes defeat under Alastair Cook, acted in apparent good faith when Colin Graves - the incoming chairman of the governing body - indicated there could be a way back through a weight of first-class domestic runs.

That has not proved the case, despite Pietersen's maiden unbeaten triple-century for Surrey hours before meeting Strauss to be told a "massive trust issue" still exists between the pair.

Strauss began his new role with England today. Credit: PA

Strauss spoke in similar terms in his time as Pietersen's England captain when, in 2012, the maverick batsman admitted sending "provocative" texts about him to opposition players from their native South Africa.

Morgan is entirely unconvinced by that, and reports Pietersen is at a low ebb after hearing what Strauss about to announce in press conferences at Lord's.

"I spoke to him briefly this morning, and he was incredibly upset," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He's angry; he's frustrated. He feels he's been deeply misled, if not lied to, by the ECB.

"He believes he made decisions that were of huge financial cost to him - had an impact on his livelihood, his family - because he was told if he did it, and it worked, he'd be back in the England team."

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