‘I wouldn’t have Kevin Pietersen anywhere near the England squad’ says Bob Willis

The former England fast bowler says the national team should be glad to be rid of the fiery batsman, but warns that he doesn't hold out much hope for them at this year's Cricket World Cup

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Still think England cricket could do with the extra spark of Kevin Pietersen? He’s not worth it, says Bob Willis.

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The former international fast bowler says England are much better off without Pietersen for the upcoming Cricket World Cup in Australia – but still doesn’t hold out much hope for his country’s chances in the tournament.

“I wouldn’t have him anywhere near the squad for this tournament,” Willis said, when asked whether he’d be willing to offer an olive branch to Pietersen. “The guy’s been a disruptive influence in every dressing room he’s ever been in. And don’t forget, the Delhi Daredevils – the Indian Premier League side he captained – won only two out of 14 matches with him in it. So he’s clearly not a strong advert for team spirit.”

Pietersen, who was involved in a PR controversy following the publication of his autobiography in October, was not selected for England’s World Cup squad, but will still be Down Under following the action: he’s been invited to work as a summariser for BBC’s Test Match Special coverage.

Willis, who will be working for Sky Sports for the duration of the six-week-long tournament, is not expecting much from England.

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“I’m afraid England aren’t strong enough in both batting and bowling departments so I make us huge outsiders for this competition,” said Willis.

Read Bob Willis’s thoughts on England and much more in this week’s Radio Times, out in shops and the Apple Newsstand from Tuesday 10 February.