Cricket

Pietersen ponders ODI return

2012-07-09 12:52
Kevin Pietersen (File)

London - Kevin Pietersen has said there is still a chance he could play 'white ball' cricket for England again despite retiring from limited overs internationals.

However, the South Africa-born batsman - who remains a Test cricketer - said it would need a drastic change to England's packed schedule for him to consider a return to one-day and Twenty20 matches for his adopted country.

"I've had my wife, mother, dad, mother-in-law, brothers and my best mates all saying to me 'don't you wish you were out there batting against Australia (in the on-going one-day series)?' Pietersen told Monday's Daily Mail.

"And I've said to them I haven't missed it at all. But maybe all I needed was a break. Who knows? I've played a lot of cricket in the last seven years."

Asked if he would reconsider his retirement from international cricket's two shortest formats, the 32-year-old said: "Never say never. I'm a lot older and more mature than a few years ago, so you never know.

"Anything can happen. I'll never say no, but the schedule would have to be a hell of a lot different for me to come back. Wait and see."

Pietersen, one of the undoubted 'box-office' stars of world cricket, called time on his international limited overs career when the England management denied him his wish to carry on playing Twenty20s while quitting 50 overs per side one-dayers.

They said he had to make himself available for both formats amidst concerns that, otherwise, the 50-over side would be weakened by several players following Pietersen's lead.

Pietersen, man of the tournament when England won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean two years ago, still harbours hopes of helping the side defend their title in Sri Lanka in September.

"I still hope there might be a compromise for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka," he said. "The squad hasn't been announced.

"I would love to play in that and defend our title with England. If it happens, great, but I'm not holding my breath."

England's geography means that, uniquely among cricket countries, they are guaranteed a near year-long programme of international cricket.

However, Pietersen's critics insist he could have kept playing for England in all three major formats and still have given himself a break if he'd opted out of the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League.

But Pietersen said expecting him, or other world stars, to miss the IPL was unrealistic and that his participation wasn't simply a matter of cash.

"Okay, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) may say me playing in the IPL makes it hard to rest me but what annoys me is that, with every other board the IPL is a matter of fact. It's not going away," he said.

"It's going to be there and players want to play in it. Players want to go and earn their money and unless you let them decisions will have to be made.

"Big players want to play in front of big audiences. You want to hear your name chanted by 50 000 people. It's amazing. It makes you feel so good.

"The window for that has been created by the other boards but unfortunately not ours."

England have so far coped well without Pietersen and lead Australia 3-0 in a five-match one-day series ahead of Tuesday's finale at Old Trafford.

In particular Ian Bell, since being recalled to the one-day side in Pietersen's place as an opener, has scored 364 runs in five innings at an impressive average of 72.8.

Read more on:    kevin pietersen  |  cricket
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