Andrew Strauss: Time to appreciate 'magnificent' Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss
Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss won the 2005 and 2011 Ashes together

It is "definitely time to appreciate" Kevin Pietersen's achievements in an England shirt, says the team's director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

South-African born Pietersen, 37, suggested an end to his playing career by tweeting "boots up" last week.

Strauss told BBC Radio 5 live's Tuffers & Vaughan Show there were "differences" between them but called his former team-mate a "magnificent" player.

"It is the time to appreciate what he did in an England shirt," he said.

"He was a magnificent player, the best England player I played with and an unbelievable talent.

"We have to remember the special days and he should be happy and comfortable with what he has achieved."

Pietersen is England's second-highest run scorer across all formats, behind Alastair Cook.

The former Nottinghamshire, Hampshire and Surrey batsman made a total of 13,779 runs for England in Test, one-day and Twenty 20 international matches between 2004 and 2014.

However, his career was surrounded by controversy; he lasted five months as England captain before resigning in January 2009, following a rift with coach Peter Moores.

He was dropped for the third Test against South Africa in 2012 after reports he sent derogatory text messages about his team-mates - including then-captain Strauss - to South Africa players Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers.

In February 2014, he was sacked by England following a 5-0 whitewash in Australia, and did not play international cricket again.

However, Strauss had to apologise later that year after he made an offensive remark about Pietersen during a live broadcast on Sky Sports.

'He needed loving' - analysis

Michael Vaughan, who captained Pietersen with England:

Can you deliver under the ultimate pressure, against Australia's Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne? We told him to go and play his way. He hit the ball flying over McGrath's head.

Then against Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, he reverse swept him for six on his first ball. I thought: 'We have a player here who can turn the game on its head by attacking the world's top bowlers.' I had never seen that from an England player.

He needed loving and an arm round his shoulder. As much as you see the ego, the exterior of aggression and this flamboyant character, if you did not love him, he had did not respond well to the finger being pointed at him.

I looked at him and thought: 'Just play aggressively.' The rest of us had to play our games around him. He had the ability to win a game of Test match cricket in the space of three hours.

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