PM wades into Pietersen axe row

The Oxford Times: David Cameron says Kevin Pietersen provided some of his most enjoyable experiences watching England David Cameron says Kevin Pietersen provided some of his most enjoyable experiences watching England

David Cameron has waded into the row over Kevin Pietersen's ejection from the England cricket team, insisting there is a "powerful argument" for keeping him in the side.

There has been a backlash since the controversial star batsman was told earlier this week that he would not play for the country again.

Speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire, the Prime Minister stressed he would leave decisions to team selectors.

But branding Pietersen "remarkable", he expressed sympathy with the views of television presenter and celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan, who has been leading criticism of the move.

"I am an enormous fan of Kevin Pietersen and I have had some of my most enjoyable times watching him tonking the ball all over the park," Mr Cameron said.

"His average is remarkable. It is not often I have a sympathy for Piers Morgan but I thought he was making quite a powerful argument this morning on my radio.

"But I will let the England selectors pick the England team, I think I had better stay out of this one."

Asked whether Mr Cameron was supportive of England captain Alastair Cook, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster media briefing: "Whenever an England team takes the field, the Prime Minister is absolutely right behind them and their captain, of course."

The spokesman dodged the question of whether the PM had confidence in the England cricket team's management, telling reporters: "When it comes to decisions around the management of the England game, that's one for the ECB."

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