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Pietersen still dreams of England

David Hopps

July 4, 2014

Comments: 51 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen was present in a non-playing capacity at Lord's, England v Sri Lanka, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day, June 15, 2014
Kevin Pietersen in the Lord's crowd for England's Test against Sri Lanka last month © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has expressed a vague ambition to make a comeback for England - less than a month after saying he was relieved to be out of the dressing room and was at peace with his international retirement.

Shunned by England, and his character assassinated in the process, he has now suggested - fleetingly at least - that he retains an appetite for the big stage that leaves him unable quite to accept that his England career is over.

Pietersen tweeted that he retained England ambitions as he prepared for the MCC Bicentenary celebration fixture against a Rest of the World side at Lord's on Saturday. One look at his shirt and cap, and the prospect of a sympathetic hand from a big crowd, was enough to get the juices flowing.

He has been well received south of the river when he has turned out for Surrey in front of a relatively young crowd in the NatWest Blast. It has yet to be seen what the more traditional upholders of the cricketing faith at Lord's will make of him.

"My space reserved in the Lord's dressing room," he tweeted. "Clothes ready! So excited about tomorrow. I didn't think I'd have this opportunity to play in front of a full house at Lord's again. I still do hope that things change and I play for England here again. Time will tell......."

Pietersen later expanded on his mood. He cannot look upon Lord's, where he made five England hundreds and easily imagine that he will not receive the adulation again. "I never give up," he said. "I'm only 34, I'm still young so hopefully one day I can play here in front of full houses but I just want to enjoy Saturday. I've got the hunger for it and the body's good so I want to go out there and do well."

Sachin Tendulkar captains the MCC side against a World XI led by Shane Warne.

Pietersen was soon surrounded by a gaggle of England cricket journalists, some of whom have been less than complimentary since he was ruled persona non grata after the Ashes tour by the new MD of England cricket, Paul Downton.

Just like the old days.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JG2704 on (July 8, 2014, 11:27 GMT)

@Vinod_Fab on (July 6, 2014, 15:47 GMT) Indeed T20 is not test cricket but given KP isn't playing any longer form cricket (His choice as I'm sure Surrey would love to have him in their CC side) then it's the only thing we can judge him on. Until/unless he plays any LF cricket we can only guess You're asking the wrong person as to why only KP to be outed but it is obvious to everyone that there is more to it than just on field form but we don't know because no one is saying anything so how can anyone say England definitely did the right thing or definitely did the wrong thing without that knowledge? Just a possible cricketing reason anyway. KP is more injury prone than any batsman we have in our side so maybe they are planning for the next Ashes with an established middle order batsman because they're not even that confident he'll be around then and they want to have a batsman with some experience out there

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (July 6, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

@JG2704 on (July 6, 2014, 14:04 GMT)..T20's shouldn't be the criteria to choose a player for test cricket..!!. Oflate KP has not played any test cricket after that disastrous ASHES so without test cricket i won't say he cannot perform..!! "Swann is a much bigger loss for England than the version of KP we lost" --- LOSS is a LOSS that's y i have mentioned KP's PIVOTAL role which closely matches with swanny's..!! But my main question that time was and now also it is -- Why only KP..?? Why to pinpoint the person who gave so much to ENG cricket..?? Looks jaded doesn't seems to be the correct phrase given by ECB..What ENG got in return--a defeat at the hands of SL(don't remember ENG losing in ENG after 05,just against SA),next will be against IND..I will say it's just a type of fooling cricket public..

Posted by JG2704 on (July 6, 2014, 14:04 GMT)

@ Vinod_Fab on (July 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT) You may remember when you were 1st talking about his exile that I said I doubted he was the player he was even a year ago. I also said that how he does in IPL would tell us more and by and large he was poor in IPL as a player and captain of a team who finished bottom. He has had a poor start to the English T20 season too.

I still maintain that Swann is a much bigger loss for England than the version of KP we lost. If you think an out of form KP is better than the players you mention then that's your opinion. If England lose it will be because India were the better side and nothing to do with missing KP. In the 2 series where we were whitewashed vs Pak and Aus it wasn't as if KP was brilliant and everyone else let us down.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 6, 2014, 14:02 GMT)

We'll never fully understand why KP was sacked until the full report/statement comes out near the end of the year, so why bother arguing about this yet again? England could lose this upcoming series against India 5-0, and I still don't think the ECB would consider allowing KP back in the team based on the previous articles/statements. Get over it guys.

@Arun Bose: you've posted on virtually every England thread how passionate and up-to-date you are about cricket; so why are you asking for Swann to come back when, as others have pointed out, it was injury that curtailed his career and he said in a recent interview that he could barely land a single ball anymore? That's really gonna help a struggling team - bringing someone like that back. Yes I agree England need a frontline spinner, but 100% fit and in good form is a minimum criteria surely...

Posted by JG2704 on (July 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

@nashvillet - So KP didn't threaten to retire (and then retire) from shorter formats from England in order to try and get his own way thinking that England would budge on various issues? Sorry bud , I must have dreamt that happening

Listen , I can't agree or disagree with ECB's decision as I (nor anyone on these threads) know what has been going on behind the scenes. I thought ECB could have eased him out by resting him and then dropping him as I feel it would have been a bit more amicable/dignified but I really don't believe KP is the player he was even a year or so ago and battingwise Eng have made other changes. Carberry,Trott and KP out and the guys who have come in have done ok. I reckon there are a number of factors behind KP going including his form and fitness being on the slide.

please publish this time

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (July 6, 2014, 11:14 GMT)

@JG2704 .. See, now KP is not there for the upcoming series against IND, let's see how ENG performs ? If ENG wins series here in their own backyard,then we wil believe that this "FUTURE" ENG team have it in them to compete AUS for the ASHES.. Me for one believe that "OUT OF FORM" Pietersen is anyday better than Robson,Balance,Root,Ali,Prior,Stokes etc. ENGLISH Fans can speak if they win's this series against IND but i am sure if IND evades Jimmy,Broad then that's it for ENG..!! It was KP's pivotal role which brought ENG this legacy(Winning the ASHES home and away,Series win in IND,Series level against SL.T20 WC, and it can be 2015 WC if he is picked again) . KP doesn't wants ENG and their legacy after 05 to get lose like this so he expressed his desire to play for ENG once again..

Posted by   on (July 5, 2014, 20:37 GMT)

For england to win india them have get back pietersen in side, them going to keep loseing.pietersen am backing U friend for LIFE, from all the way( GUYANA)

Posted by nashvillet on (July 5, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

@JG2704 of course KP has played selflessly and devotedly for his team. Remember his previous knocks against Australia in the ashes,against India at home and away and various other teams. He was also a key player for England in their maiden ICC event triumph that is the world T-20 cup in 2010. Had it not been his dedication , his devotion towards the game and his team ,he never would have been able to achieve what he has today. Even during those performances he was under the scrutiny for his attitude but still he kept his cool and played some great knocks.And the stupidest reason he was sacked off lately was only because he didnt perform well in australia. This is ridiculous because i recall it was the whole english team who had under performed . Every sportsperson plays with devotion and selflessness for their country and if they dont they wont last a single day in their respective fields. KP is one of them and he still hopes to play again for england. Now that is dedication.

Posted by Insightful2013 on (July 5, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

JG, I left for better pay and improved education. The move increased my experiences and changed my perspectives. I was better able to evaluate our methods, incl variables, as to which is more effective. I rate our sportsmen second to none. In fact without prejudice and this is after deliberation, Englishness, is my most treasured attribute, no disrespect to anyone else. As a Psychologist, do you have any idea how easy it would be to turn KP into a world beater? He has tools only a few are gifted with! Brinester, I go back to the Aussie tests as well. No Downton, but same attitude.Our middle order thrived against mediocre bowling, however I think, there is great potential there. Loved the application of Ali.Could be the World Cup exit, but I feel, almost physical pain when through, incapable management, our brilliant sportsmen are so poorly handled. The ECB puts ego first instead of results. You manage people individually, not as a unit, similar to flocking birds or schooling fish!

Posted by steve48 on (July 5, 2014, 12:12 GMT)

I think beyond all the celebrity, tweeting and piers Morgan bromance lies someone desperate to be loved and belong. His England sacking seems to have hurt him far more than just in a pride level, he is currently batting like an aimless, lost soul, struggling to see the point of it all. Shame on the Chelmsford boo boys, and more shame on those who criticise his initial fallout with the ECB over the IPL. Are you serious? Over £1million for a couple of months work and adulation throughout India, as opposed to constant underlying ambivalence towards the cocky foreign mercenary, vs. playing against New Zealand minus their IPL players? Like all of you, don't know him, probably a bit too self important and tactless, but please remember he has given 'team England ' as much as he received, even Freddie Flintoff pointed that out. Unlike his supporters, I don't see him as some martyr, he has made many mistakes, but booing?

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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