Kevin Pietersen lashed at the English and Wales Cricket Board for losing focus on the longest format of the game.
The former England ace, who has had a significant number of run-ins with the English authority, said while the team’s form in limited-overs cricket is admirable, they risk alienating fans of Test cricket.
“I don’t know which direction they want to go in,” he was quoted as saying by AFP. “We won a T20 World Cup, we won the Ashes home and away, we beat India in India a few years ago.
“England haven’t won a 50-over World Cup, I know that was the message a few years ago to do that and you can see they are driving towards that World Cup in England next summer, at the detriment of Test cricket. And I think it’s sad and frustrating for us as players who have played over 100 Test matches,” he said.
Since their 2015 World Cup exit, England have turned their focus towards limited-overs cricket and have subsequently managed to climb to the top of ICC ODI Rankings. This rise has run parallel with Test loses against Australia (4-0) and a series reverse against New Zealand.
Pietersen, who has played 104 Tests for England, believes that the public is more interested in Test cricket.
“The public care a lot more about Test match cricket than they do about the shorter form of the game. The big series will continue to exist, the Ashes will be fine, India v Pakistan, Australia against South Africa,” said the South African-born talisman.
Speaking about the upcoming five-match One-Day International series against Australia at home, Pietersen said that the visitors will need to do well in the series to put behind the ball-tampering controversy involving Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
“They have just got to win, when you win the media go with you, when they lose they hammer you,” offered Pietersen. “Australia are always the pantomime villain, no doubt the English are going to go after them, but that’s the nature of the beast, they always go after us when we go there.”
Pietersen’s comments come at a time when the ECB are looking towards 100-ball cricket to regenerate interest in the game.