England's dressing room will be a better place without Kevin Pietersen after the controversial batsman was sacked following the dismal Ashes tour of Australia, according to wicket-keeper Matt Prior.

Prior, the tour vice-captain, said Pietersen's ability should have made him 'the best England cricketer to ever walk this planet' and the decision to dispense with him would not have been taken lightly.

When asked if the dressing room would be a better place without the South African-born batsman, Prior replied: "Yes, it will.

The ECB only want people in that dressing room that are going to be passionate about England winning and performing

Matt Prior, England wicket-keeper

"I think one of the biggest things they (the ECB) want to rediscover is the value of playing cricket for England, the honour and the pride you need to show as an England cricketer. And they only want people in that dressing room that are going to be passionate about England winning and performing."

Pietersen was released from his ECB contract earlier this month in the aftermath of the 5-0 Test whitewash by Australia.

He had scored 8,181 runs in 104 Tests and 4,440 runs in 136 One-Day Internationals but was never far from controversy.

He was briefly dropped in 2012 following media reports he had sent 'provocative' text messages about England players to members of the South Africa squad during a series involving both teams.

Prior, who has played in 75 Tests and hit 3,920 runs at an average of 40.83, missed the last two Tests of the Ashes series after being dropped because of poor form.

He said that being omitted when he was vice-captain, in the middle of a big series, 'quite literally wrenched my heart out' out added he was determined to regain his place for the home series against Sri Lanka and India later this year.

Source: Reuters