The England and Wales Cricket Broad (ECB) announced the end of Pietersen’s association with England earlier this week, citing a need for a new ‘team ethic and philosophy’ after the 5-0 Test series defeat in Australia.
The ECB is yet to fully explain its reasons for deciding to jettison Pietersen, but Strauss believes it was the inevitable consequence of a breakdown in trust.
“Without trust, the team environment is stillborn,” he wrote in British newspaper the Sunday Times.
“It’s for this reason Kevin Pietersen’s international career had to be brought to an end.
“The media have been searching for a ‘smoking gun’. Everyone is looking for disciplinary problems, bust-ups and character clashes, but they are looking for the wrong thing.
“The smoking gun is the total absence of trust.”
On Pietersen’s role in the recent Ashes whitewash, Strauss added: “What happened in Australia from November onwards, when the heat of the furnace was fixed on the embattled side, was that old grievances came back to the surface. Past history weighed too heavily. Trust still did not exist.
“His relationship with English cricket has been like an illicit affair. Full of thrills and excitement, but destined to end in tears.”