Former England captain Andrew Strauss has claimed Kevin Pietersen's apology to him over the sent text messages seemed contrite and sincere, adding that he wanted to resolve the text row before retiring but a slip in form forced him to quit.
Strauss has previously been resolute in stressing that he did not retire because of Pietersen's texts, and during an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the former opening batsman said he felt uncomfortable leaving the England dressing room without putting an end to the Pietersen row.
When asked if he is now feeling something different? Strauss replied: "No, because of what happened with KP I felt guilty not sorting it before I left. I didn't want to leave it on [the team director] Andy Flower's plate and I felt uncomfortable with Cooky [Alastair Cook] having to deal with it as one of his first tasks. But that would have been the wrong reason for me to stay. I had to go."
When asked if Pietersen can change perceptions of himself? Strauss replied: "It would be fantastic if Kevin does recommit himself to English cricket at a greater level. But if, deep down, he still feels more loyalty to his IPL franchise then obviously it's going to be difficult for him."
Strauss added that he and Pietersen have since met, acknowledging that some of England's players have not been blameless in the breakdown of relationships with their star batsman.
"I don't think anyone got to the bottom of the text messaging saga. But Kevin has since come up to me and apologised for it and I respect that. He seemed contrite and I think he was sincere," Strauss said.
"Looking back I think it was wrong some of our players were following that [spoof KP Genius] Twitter account. But I still don't think it's a justification for what Kevin did," he added. (ANI)