London, April 6: Sacked England batsman Kevin Pietersen has criticised former England captain Graham Gooch for his role in the rebel tour of South Africa in 1982.
Pitersen's verbal attack came after Gooch said victory for England in their upcoming series against the West Indies could end speculation that the sacked batsman will return to the Test side.
Pietersen responded to Gooch's comments by tweeting a reference to his captaincy of the rebel side to South Africa, which led to him being banned from international cricket for three years.
"Graham Gooch - you captained a rebel tour of SA, got banned and then returned to the England team. I don't think I've done anything as bad!" Pietersen tweeted on Sunday.
Gooch, England's former captain and batting coach between 2009 and 2014, said a successful tour of the Caribbean would help cool talk of a return for Pietersen.
"The best thing England can do is to win well in the West Indies and all these comments might go away," Gooch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Sunday.
"(Pietersen) is box office and still good enough - it is whether he has the will and appetite to go to these places and turns it on for Surrey," he said.
Pietersen was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last year but has drawn confidence from comments made by incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves, who has indicated a return for the 34-year-old is not out of the equation.
The South Africa-born batsman is expected to make a comeback for English county side Surrey next week, which he hopes will be a significant step on his road back to the England set-up.
Gooch was also critical of England coach Peter Moores following England's early exit from the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.But with the Windies series closely followed by home Tests against New Zealand and Australia, Gooch said it would be unlikely that the under-pressure Moores would lose his job during the English summer.
"If they don't win, Moores' job will be on the line but it would difficult to change a coach so close ahead of big series against New Zealand and Australia," Gooch said.