LONDON - Andrew Strauss said Sunday that "inflammatory comments" made by Kevin Pietersen in his controversial autobiography helped explain the star batsman's ongoing exile from the England team. Pietersen, England's leading all-time run-scorer across all formats, has been in the international wilderness since the team returned from their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia last year.

One of Strauss's first acts as the new England and Wales Cricket Board's director of cricket was to tell Pietersen, his predecessor as England captain, that a "massive trust issue" prevented him being recalled for this season's home internationals with New Zealand and Australia. That appeared to contradict earlier comments from new ECB chairman Colin Graves that a return was possible if Pietersen scored enough runs in county cricket.

Unfortunately for Pietersen, and indeed for the image of the ECB, Strauss told him he would remain frozen out of England contention shortly after the 34-year-old has scored his maiden first-class triple century, during Surrey's County Championship match against Leicestershire at The Oval. Strauss's first week in his new post also saw him sack England coach Peter Moores, but it was his take on Pietersen that provoked the greatest public criticism.

One subsequent report even went as far to say that England captain Alastair Cook would have quit international cricket had Pietersen, currently sidelined with a calf injury, been allowed back into the side.

Meanwhile the new-ball pairing of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who in Pietersen's autobiography were described as operating a "bullying culture" in the England dressing room, may well have not been thrilled by the prospect of again being in the same side as the South Africa-born shotmaker.

Strauss, who infamously let slip exactly what he thought of his former team-mate with an obscenity picked up on a stray broadcast mic last year, gave his most complete explanation to date as to why Pietersen was still barred from the England set-up in an article for Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. "Regardless of form, I hope people can appreciate why it is still not right for Kevin Pietersen to come back into the team," Strauss wrote.

"Despite the depth of public feeling on this issue, the fact is that over the 16 months since his last appearance in an England shirt little has happened to heal the wounds, on both sides, from the fall-out over his omission and the inflammatory comments made in his book about members of the team cannot easily be overlooked," the 38-year-old former opener added.

Strauss wants England to follow All Blacks' example: Andrew Strauss wants England to learn from rugby union giants New Zealand as he seeks to build a united cricket side capable of beating the world's best teams. The All Blacks, the reigning world champions, have long been the pre-eminent team in their sport and Strauss believes it is New Zealand's "unbelievable pride" which has helped them achieve so much success.

Strauss has faced a testing first week in his new role as England's director of cricket, sacking coach Peter Moores and then, far more controversially, insisting Kevin Pietersen's ongoing exile from the international set-up would continue for at least this home season. A former England captain, Strauss -- in comments reported by several British newspapers on Sunday -- said a "philosophy" of pride was key to a team doing well.

Strauss said he was keen to learn from other sports and cited the examples of the All Blacks and Manchester United under manager Alex Ferguson as well-run teams. "One that stands out is the All Blacks," Strauss said. "There are a number of other examples of strong sporting cultures -- Manchester United under Alex Ferguson, everyone knew what that stood for, what was expected, what was allowable and what wasn't allowable.

"I think part of my job is to look at other sports and work out what we can take from them, in terms of bringing together a four-year plan, how they develop their young sports people" Strauss's latest comments came at the end of a week in which it was reported that England captain Alastair Cook would have quit international cricket had Pietersen been allowed back into the side, while other players would have considered their futures, such was the angst he is said to have caused in the dressing room.

For his part, Strauss said there was a "massive trust issue" between the England and Wales Cricket Board and Pietersen, England's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats.  As captain, Strauss was a big believer in the importance of the 'team ethic' and it's one he intends to promote in his new role.

"That sort of philosophy is absolutely spot on. England players need to be unbelievably proud to be putting on that shirt," he said. "There's got to be a whole culture that's associated with that. "That drives everything, and it has to be policed and bought into by the players themselves -- that's the only way that the culture really works properly."

Meanwhile, following England's humiliating first-round exit from the World Cup, where they failed to beat a single major nation, Strauss said it was time to "think radically" regarding limited overs cricket. This could mean a revamp of the fixture schedule and abandoning early season home Tests in order to let leading players take part in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League. "In an ideal situation, our players won't be missing any cricket - but will still have the opportunity to play in the IPL," said Strauss. "We've got to look at the international calendar, and work out ways and times when our players are available to play at some of these tournaments."

One reason cited for declining participation figures in men's and schoolboy cricket in Britain is the lack of live coverage of major England matches on terrestrial television, with the ECB having signed lucrative deals with satellite broadcaster Sky in the decade since the 2005 Ashes. But new ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "I don't think all our participation concerns are addressed by terrestrial television."