Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, believes that there is a "10% chance" of Kevin Pietersen playing internationally again. Pietersen is understood to be considering giving up his IPL contract and returning to county cricket in order to make his case and Vaughan said a dramatic England return should not be ruled out.
The incoming ECB chairman, Colin Graves, appeared to open the door for a Pietersen comeback when he said the selectors "can't ignore" weight of runs in the county game but Vaughan, who sat with Graves on the Yorkshire board, said the possibility remained a long shot.
A score-settling autobiography, released late last year, further damaged relations between the two sides but, as revealed by ESPNcricinfo, Pietersen is currently debating whether to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL season. If he does so, he is expected to re-sign for Surrey.
"It's not more than a 10% chance he'll play for England," Vaughan told the BBC. "He's had fallouts with the coach, he's had fallouts with the managing director, he has fallen out with Alastair Cook, the captain.
"It's a long shot, particularly with this management. But if there is a bit of change, if he is scoring double centuries for Surrey and England continue to play badly, that drum will be getting beaten very loud."
Pietersen has not played for England since the final Ashes Test of the 2013-14 series, after which he was effectively sacked by the ECB. Paul Downton, England's managing director who made the decision to dispense with Pietersen as one of his first decisions in the job, is coming under increasing pressure and Graves' comments have encouraged Pietersen to envision a way back.
"The carrot has been dangled. It's a tiny carrot," Vaughan said. "But there's quite a bit to go between playing for Surrey again and playing for England again. Cricket isn't getting many column inches in England - it would get plenty if he came back. If I was a selector, I wouldn't rule out his return."