Kevin Pietersen has urged England to back opener Jason Roy ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year.
The explosive Surrey and Oval Invincibles batter has been a vital part of the white-ball setup for years now and played a key role in the 2019 World Cup triumph.
But he’s hit a tough patch of form recently – scoring 197 runs in his 11 innings for England this summer and failing to fire in The Hundred so far – and there have been some calling for him to lose his place at the top of the order.
Pietersen came in for a fair bit of criticism during his playing days but he’s called for the Three Lions to back Roy ahead of the tournament later this year.
He said (via Sky Sports): “Jason has just turned 32 years old. What I’m sick and tired of in this country is the journalists writing people off at such a young age.
“Jason Roy’s a World Cup winner, He’s done an unbelievable job for Eoin Morgan. He was told by Morgan to go out and smack that ball. Now with smacking the ball and being a risk taker, you are going to fail. And when you start failing, failing could happen for a long time.
“If Rob Key [managing director of England cricket] is listening to this, he is your best player and he has been your best player for a number of years.
“What they should be saying and I think this is actually what’s happening behind the scenes, back your best players.”
Pietersen added: “Leave Roy now. Give Roy the opportunity, through The Hundred, through those T20s to find form again.
“Back him! They’ve done it with Zak Crawley in Test matches, Ben Stokes has said categorically that Crawley will play for the rest of the season. They need to do that with Jason Roy in the T20 team.”