Anderson: KP row not an issue

  • Last Updated: September 2 2012, 12:20 BST

England bowler James Anderson believes Andrew Strauss' decision to retire had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen's omission from the national team.

Andrew Strauss: Has retired from cricket

Pietersen sent texts to members of the South African team during the second Test at Headingley earlier this summer which reportedly contained derogatory remarks about Strauss.

While Anderson felt that the Pietersen affair was far from ideal, he felt Strauss had already made his mind up to quit beforehand.

Strauss, 35, blamed his faltering batting form for his decision to bow out on exactly 100 Test caps last Wednesday, and at the time dismissed speculation that doubts over Pietersen's future had played a part in his exit.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Anderson echoed the view of his former skipper.

"People have speculated that the Kevin Pietersen issue might have been a factor in Strauss' decision to quit. I don't think it has been ideal but he was thinking about this before that stuff started, so I don't think that has been an issue at all," Anderson said.

"That sort of thing just wouldn't influence a man like Strauss.

"It was a measure of the man that his reasons for giving up the job were all about what he felt was best for the side."

Anderson praised Strauss for the dignified manner of his exit - which included penning personal letters to his international colleagues.

"What a way to go - leaving all of us a personal, hand-written letter," he said.

"Each one was different and the full contents of mine will stay between him and me, but the gist of it was that he was proud of us and that he had many great memories to take with him. Class."

Anderson added that Strauss' leadership style commanded "100% loyalty" from his players.

"Strauss is a great communicator. He had it in him to make a 'fight them on the beaches' speech - and did so when he thought it was appropriate," he said.

"But there were also times when we were in the huddle at the start of a day's play, the cameras were buzzing around and he felt we might be in danger of getting too caught up in the tension of the moment. So he would tell us something genuinely funny or leave us scratching our heads by plucking a baffling Chinese proverb out of thin air.

"Strauss just had a way of reading situations and people and doing and saying the right things at the right time that demanded 100 per cent loyalty."

Meanwhile, former Australia bowler Brett Lee paid his own tribute to Strauss, who exited the game with 7,037 runs to show from his century of Test caps.

"If you look as his record as an opening batsman - 100 Test matches and an average of 40, it's absolutely phenomenal," Lee told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"He was a batsman we were fond of, we thought he was a great player. He was always the top of discussion for us - 'what's the best way to bowl at Andrew Strauss?'

"He was a respected player and when you got Andrew Strauss out you knew you were bowling pretty well.

"He was a very competitive person with a very strong mind. A class act.

"He leaves a huge void in the England cricket team."