London - Kevin Pietersen have insisted on Friday he still wanted to play for England again as he urged the selectors to be "braver" with their choices for the national side.
Pietersen was controversially axed by England following the team's
5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia even though he is England's all-time
South Africa-born Pietersen, a former England
captain, hasn't given up on an international recall although the present
hierarchy, including Test skipper Alastair Cook, are vehemently opposed
to his return to the fold.
However, Pietersen -- who will play
for the Rest of the World side against an equally star-studded MCC in
the Lord's bicentenary match on Saturday -- said he would love to return
to the 'home of cricket' to take part in a full international once
Pietersen is still on the staff at Surrey, where he has
what is primarily a Twenty20 contract, although it does leave open the
option to play in other formats including the first-class County
But with Pietersen something of a Twenty20 'gun for
hire' -- he captained the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League
and is due to play in the Caribbean Premier League -- the star batsman
has yet to play a first-class match this season.
Not that Pietersen himself regarded that as an insurmountable hurdle to a Test return.
"No, cricket has never been the issue," he said when asked if four-day matches would provide a route back into the England side.
have played 104 Test matches, I've got enough runs. I think the resume
is okay -- cricket is not the issue. I have got a phone in my pocket and
a pretty good resume, it is not about the cricket.
"I would love to play for England again -- I have still got hope. I'm 34 and I'm young."I
can still play and I have a good resume and if things change one day I
would gladly accept the opportunity because I love playing for England,
if I didn't I would have retired -- I would love to play again.
"I've never lost interest in playing for England...I had ambitions and I had goals and they are still there."
who has a superb Test record at Lord's, with five hundreds in 15
matches and a total tally of 1,235 runs at an average of 56.13, said he
was looking forward to playing in front of another capacity crowd at the
'home of cricket'.
"I have always enjoyed playing at Lord's, it is an incredible occasion and something I'm looking forward to," he said
didn't think I was going to get the opportunity to play in front of a
full house at Lord's again but I will always still have hope to play
many more games in front of full houses here -- I'm only 34, the body is
good and I have got ambition."
Meanwhile Shane Warne said he expected Pietersen to seize a chance to shine on Saturday.
widely regarded as cricket's greatest leg-spinner, will captain former
Hampshire colleague Pietersen against an MCC team led by India hero
The Australian, who championed Pietersen's cause
ahead of his Test debut in 2005, only to be on the receiving end of the
strokemaker's blistering Ashes-clinching 158 at The Oval that year, was
in no doubt of his quality.
"KP is an absolute match-winner," Warne told a Lord's news conference on Friday.
is a superstar and a wonderful player. He is fantastic to watch, I'm
sure he will turn it on on Saturday and smash it all over the park."
well as Tendulkar, the MCC side will include his fellow-India batting
great Rahul Dravid, West Indies star Brian Lara and Australia's Brett
Lee, while Warne's Rest of the World team features Adam Gilchrist,
Muttiah Muralitharan and Shahid Afridi.