England news July 9, 2012

Pietersen keeps one-day door ajar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen has kept the door open for a return to limited-overs cricket for England and is still hoping for a late change of policy by the selectors to allow him to appear in the World Twenty20. Although, he admits that both scenarios still remain unlikely.

Pietersen quit international one-day cricket at the end of May citing England's heavy schedule and the way the ECB central contracts are written meant his decision made him ineligible for Twenty20 selection as players have to be available for both limited-overs formats. Pietersen, who returned to action with Surrey at the beginning of this month ahead of the Test series against South Africa, said the fixture demands would need to change for him to consider reversing his retirement but he still wishes he could play Twenty20.

"Never say never. I'm a lot older and more mature than a few years ago, so you never know," he told the Daily Mail about whether he would return to coloured clothes. "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.

"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?' 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."

As for the World Twenty20, which takes place in Sri Lanka from late September, where England will be defending their title, Pietersen has always been clear that he wanted to play in that tournament.

"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."

Pietersen's comments about the packed international schedule have not always gone down well because he continues to play in the IPL. However, he believes it is unfair that he is criticised for taking up that opportunity when so many of the game's leading players take part.

"Okay, the ECB 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 responded outstandingly well to the loss of Pietersen from both limited-overs formats. Ian Bell has slotted into the opening role with 364 runs in five innings while Alex Hales made 99 in the Twenty20 against West Indies and Pietersen has enjoyed watching the results.

"I'm a huge England fan and it's brilliant to be beating Australia at the moment," he said. "We've got an Ashes series next year and you want their guys to say 'we've got to play against these blokes next year. We can't score more than 250 against them in a one-day game'. It's the mental edge you want over them. We've thrown some big punches against them and that's fantastic."

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