By Ed Osmond
LONDON (Reuters) - Kevin Pietersen said he was "absolutely devastated" after being told he is not in England's plans this summer due to a complete breakdown in trust with the country's cricket board.
England director Andrew Strauss outlined his thoughts about his new role on Tuesday and the controversial Pietersen was, unsurprisingly, the main topic of interest.
"Now is the time for us to be really open about the Kevin Pietersen situation -- people have been running away from it for years," Strauss told reporters in the Lord's pavilion.
"The truth about Kevin is that he is a phenomenal cricketer. But over months and years trust has eroded between Kevin Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
"There is a massive trust issue between me and Kevin."
Pietersen was sacked by England last year following a number of incidents that culminated in the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia during which he was accused of bring disengaged from the team.
Strauss's first task as director was to sack Peter Moores as coach and two days later Pietersen gave a timely reminder of his batting talent with a superb innings of 355 not out for Surrey in the county championship, the highest score of his career.
But Strauss said that had done nothing to alter the situation and he met Pietersen on Monday evening to tell him face to face he does not feature in England's plans.
"It did not change my thinking at all as we have always known what a fantastic cricketer Kevin is," Strauss said. "He was not happy with the decision and I did not expect him to be.
"It's not about his ability as a player. It's about trust. You can't build that over a few days.
"I can't give him any guarantees about the future but he is not banned from the side because no-one knows what is going to happen in the future."
Pietersen responded in typically forthright fashion by saying he was "absolutely devastated" that his hopes of a recall had been ended.
"I went into the meeting expecting Strauss to say that England’s batting order is good at the moment but if I continued to score runs and if an injury occurred then I would be in contention to play," he wrote in a column to be published in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph.
"I would naturally have to earn my recall, but at least I would be eligible. But no. Quite simply, I feel deeply misled."
Pietersen's hopes were fuelled in March when incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves hinted that the door was open if he returned to county cricket and scored runs.
Having kept his side of the bargain, Pietersen said he felt he had been "led down the garden path".
"I just find it incredibly deceitful what has happened to me and am frankly finding difficult to understand right now," Pietersen added.
"I have done everything I have been asked. I keep asking myself, what more could I do?"
South African-born Pietersen, 34, has made 8,181 test runs, including 23 centuries, and is England's highest run-scorer in all forms of international cricket.
He was a team mate of Strauss's for many years and played under his captaincy but he was dropped for a test against South Africa in 2012 after sending provocative texts about the skipper to opposition players.
Strauss was forced to issue an apology last July after being caught on microphone making offensive remarks about Pietersen during a television commentary stint.
England play two home tests against New Zealand before the five-match Ashes series against Australia starting on July 8.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez and Toby Davis)