SPORT

Kevin Pietersen 'Relieved' He Is Not In England Squad

09/06/2014 10:33 BST | Updated 09/06/2014 10:59 BST

Kevin Pietersen says it was "a relief" to escape the England dressing room when he was excluded from the team.

England's record international run-scorer insists he remains on good terms with his former colleagues, but believes the reason his old colleague Ashley Giles was overlooked for the role of head coach after the winter Ashes debacle was because of their close friendship.

Pietersen, 33, had his central contract terminated in February following the 5-0 Test series thrashing in Australia, in which he finished as England's leading run-scorer but also faced criticism over his batting.

There looks to be no way back for Pietersen, who says he is "grateful" for what he had with England but has "moved on".

kevin pietersen

Pietersen is "glad" he is no longer a part of the England Test side

"In fact, it has been a relief to be out of the dressing room because it was not a pleasant place in Australia," Pietersen wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

"We were losing and in my opinion the environment was poor and I was not alone in thinking that. It is a view shared by a number of the players who have spoken their minds since coming back from the tour."

Pietersen claims fellow England players found the attentions of the abrasive Australian media "a problem" and said the tourists were "not equipped to handle" a tour Down Under so soon after winning the Ashes on home soil.

The former England batsman asserts his relationship was "fine" with fellow squad members, adding: "I have no issue with the players, as many have said in interviews since the tour ended. I speak to Stuart Broad and I even organised for Graeme Swann to go on holiday to one of my friend's hotels after he retired."

Despite calls for conservatism, Pietersen re-emphasises he was unwilling to compromise his offensive game.

"It would have been easy for me to start defending a bit more," he said. "Would that have made me a better player? No. I am a risk-taker in cricket, in business and all parts of my life."

Pietersen also believes England's squad for the Test series with Sri Lanka, which begins this week, is impoverished after Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were excluded. Buttler's omission was "unbelievable", Pietersen says.