Paul Downton: 'Kevin Pietersen was disinterested during Ashes'

England's Kevin Pietersen raise his bat moments after reaching 50 runs during the third day of the third Ashes Test on August 3, 2013
© AFP
Paul Downton claims that Kevin Pietersen was "disinterested" during The Ashes in the winter.

England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton has claimed that Kevin Pietersen's apparent "disinterested" actions during The Ashes led to his sacking.

Pietersen's central contract was cancelled shortly after the whitewash defeat to Australia in the winter, with some figures in the game criticising the ECB's decision to cut ties with the influential batsman.

However, Downton suggested that there was no support from the dressing room for the 33-year-old before the announcement was made that he would no longer be available for selection.

"I was quite frustrated watching him as a fan, and there was a feeling he wasn't engaged as he should be as a senior player. I then watched every ball of the Sydney Test live, and I've never seen anyone as disinterested or distracted as Kevin. It looked very strange," Downton told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I talked to every person on the management team and quite a few senior players, and I couldn't find one supporter who wanted Kevin to stay in the side. We spent the next three weeks working out what to do in the best interests of English cricket.

"Kevin was starting to play a bit like a luxury player. There was a 'this is the way I play' type of attitude. He had not been fit an awful lot and he wasn't producing the results he once had."

England continued life without Pietersen by beating Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at The Oval on Thursday.

Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss during a press conference on August 29, 2012
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