Sports and TV personalities across the world have thronged social networking site Twitter over the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) decision to end controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen's international career after axing him from the squads for the West Indies ODIs and the World Twenty20.
Angered over the decision, former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter that he believes Pietersen should still play for England as they have a World T20, a World Cup and the Ashes coming up in the future.
I don't buy the thought,Looking to the future.England have a T20 WC in 4 weeks.WC in 12 months.Ashes in 18 months. @KP24 should still play
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 4, 2014
According to News.com.au, Vaughan called on the ECB to explain with clarity and reason what Pietersen had done and why they cannot manage him anymore, adding that it is a sad way to end such a 'maverick's' career.
Slamming new ECB managing director Paul Downton as a 'complete and utter imbecile', British TV host Piers Morgan expressed his disgust at the treatment of one of England's 'best, most exciting player', and slammed the critics of Pietersen as 'cowardly, jealous toe-rags'.
Former England football star Gary Lineker placed the blame squarely with ECB management and poor captaincy, saying that instead of bringing out the best from such a 'maverick', the ECB has managed Pietersen poorly, while West Indies legend Chris Gayle expressed his disappointment for the England fans.
Swansea have sacked @KP24 . Worse still, they've sacked Michael Laudrup. Absolutely bonkers. World's gone mad!
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 4, 2014
Former South African Test star Mark Boucher and Australian footballer Tim Cahill also expressed their surprise, with Boucher sarcastically saying that times must be good for England to leave their best player out of the team, while Cahill called on Pietersen to enjoy some quality time with his family.
— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) February 4, 2014
Former Aussie cricketer Dean Jones thought the sacking would not play out well for Australian spin legend Shane Warne, adding that the ECB has made it harder for Warne to be manager for England now.
ECB making it harder for Warne to be manager now with #KPSacked . Paul Downton clearing the deck
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) February 4, 2014