If there was ever any doubt, at least we now know exactly how Andrew Strauss feels about Kevin Pietersen.
The former England captain was on Saturday caught uttering a highly offensive assessment of the former England batsmen during the exhibition match to celebrate the bicentenary of the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Strauss, in his commentary role with Sky Sports, was heard to describe Pietersen as “an absolute ….” during a break in play to co-commentator Nick Knight.
The Sky Sports coverage had gone to an ad break, with Strauss believing he was off air, however an overseas feed broadcast his comments unfiltered.
Strauss subsequently apologised live on air by saying: “I apologise unreservedly, particularly to Kevin Pietersen. I am mortified and profusely sorry.”
His apology came after Sky had issued a brief statement saying: “Earlier comments were made during a break in play which were heard overseas. We apologise for the language used.”
Of course the relationship between the South African-born England stars has been hostile for some time.
It soured beyond repair when it was revealed Pietersen had sent text messages to members of the South African team during a Test match between the two nations in 2012 which criticised Strauss and other England players.
There was a belief some of the texts included information on how best to dismiss Strauss, though this was denied.
The saga led to Strauss’s immediate retirement and to Pietersen being dropped from the England team mid-series, and exiled while undergoing a reintegration period before his return in 2012.
“I wasn’t all that bothered about him sending texts to the South African players that he knew quite well,” Strauss said in retirement.
“I did, however, have issues with him criticising me to the opposition. That felt like talking out of school, not to mention giving the opposition a way to drive a wedge between Pietersen and myself and the team.
“And if he really had given information about how to get me out, well that amounted to treachery and I would never forgive him.
“I am confident, in retrospect, that he did not give the South Africans information on how to get me out.
“The nagging frustration I still have is that all of that time, effort and commitment from our players over a three-year period to make our environment special and different was undermined in one episode.”
Pietersen was dismissed for 10 on Saturday, becoming one of Saeed Ajmal’s four victims.
Despite being cast aside by the England team following last summer’s dismal Ashes series in Australia, won five-nil by Darren Lehmann’s men, Pietersen still harbours ambitions of regaining his place in the national side.
England start a five-Test series against India at Trent Bridge on Thursday, with Pietersen again not part of the playing group.