Peter Moores keen for England to forget about Kevin Pietersen

Peter Moores

Peter Moores, the new England coach, is determined not to let the early stages of his second spell in charge be dogged by the ghost of Kevin Pietersen, stating that the future is more exciting than the past and that his team can hit the ground running despite injury concerns over Ben Stokes and Matt Prior.

Moores’ reign begins with a one-day international against Scotland next Friday, before the series against Sri Lanka, but England will be without some key players in Aberdeen. Stokes, the Durham all-rounder, is some way from a full recovery after undergoing surgery on a hand injury sustained when he punched a dressing-room locker. Prior, the Sussex wicketkeeper, is struggling with a chronic achilles injury and could miss the first Test on 12 June.

It means there is an immediate selection concern for Moores who, along with the captain, Alastair Cook, opted to dispense with the services of the batting coach Graham Gooch this week. Another matter of debate, though, is the issue of Pietersen, jettisoned by England after their terrible Ashes series in Australia despite being the team’s highest run scorer and who could attend the first Sri Lanka Test at Lord’s as a spectator.

“It’s something I can’t really control so I hope that what we will do as a team will connect to the public so they see what we are trying to do,” Moores said. Pietersen, meanwhile, sarcastically offered his services as England’s new batting coach on Thursday following Gooch’s departure. Graham Thorpe and Mark Ramprakash are contenders for the job.

“It is really important I think that Kev can have his say – but we want to put forward what’s happening with the England team, how the lads are portraying themselves, how they are playing and portray that as more exciting – that the future is more exciting than the past.

“I haven’t gone in to depth [on the Pietersen situation] with it because it has not really been on my radar, there has been enough other things to do. I have been busy trying to get to a position where we can make some decisions.”

Moores and Pietersen fell out badly during the coach’s first spell in charge, but the 51-year-old is now focused on changing the culture of England’s set-up following a miserable winter. There are, however, a number of outstanding injuries and fitness concerns over first-choice players.

On Prior, who has not kept wicket since the third Ashes Test in Perth in mid-December, Moores said: “It’s a concern, because he’s played a game [against Middlesex] and his achilles has flared up. We want to be careful. He’s on a break now and we need to make sure that when he plays it doesn’t flare up again.

“It’s obviously a concern, it is something that our medics are right on top of – you need your players to be fit. I wouldn’t put a timescale on a return.”

On Stokes, Moores rejected suggestions the all-rounder, who was one of the few players to impress in the Ashes series, would be out for the season: “I don’t think so. He’s still got a bit of work to do – he isn’t on the coaches’ radar yet. I don’t know with him. It was a complicated one so it takes a bit more time.”

Steven Finn was not selected for the ODI against Scotland, despite the bowler’s good form for Middlesex. Moores said: “There’s been quite a lot of history with Steven and what’s happened so I am not jumping in. There is a general perception we should give him long enough in county cricket to really get to where he wants to be before he goes and plays for England again.”

Ashley Giles, who was left out of a job by Moores’ appointment, will make his first comments since the decision as a member of the Sky Sports commentary team for their coverage of the Durham-Yorkshire County Championship fixture which starts on Sunday.

Short URL: