Pietersen works on England return

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Kevin Pietersen says he is going to work on a possible return to the England side.

The batsman, 34, was sacked in February 2014 but was given encouragement that he might be able to return to the team in future by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

Graves said the first step back for Pietersen would be to play county cricket.

Pietersen said: “I’m going to try to work this out for sure.”

Pietersen played for Surrey last season but is without a county at the moment and his current commitments could make it difficult for him to play in English cricket’s domestic competition.

The 2015 county season starts on April 12, but Pietersen is scheduled to play in the Indian Premier League, which takes place between April 8 and May 24.

He also has commitments to the Caribbean Premier League, which is being held in June and July, and there is the possibility of him working in the media during the summer.

ECB managing director Paul Downton appeared to end speculation over a possible Pietersen return as recently as December, saying “more bridges have been burnt” after the South African-born batsman released an inflammatory autobiography in October, critical of many key ECB figures.

National selector James Whitaker said at the time there was “no way Kevin Pietersen will ever get back into an England team”.

BBC Test Match Special summariser and former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott said Pietersen needs to meet with Graves, Downton and Whitaker.

“It sounds as if our new chairman wants the door open but then he says that he is going to back the selectors,” said Boycott.

“If the selectors are still there – that’s James Whitaker the chairman and above him is managing director Paul Downton, who sacked Kevin Pietersen – are they going to do an about face?

“Are they going to be too embarrassed to change their mind? Or, are they going to be big enough to change their mind? That is the question in the air.

“It’s all right the chairman saying he has to play county cricket but if he does that and gives up a lucrative IPL contract and Downton and Whitaker are still not going to pick him, that’s like leading him on isn’t it? And that’s not fair.”

Meanwhile, England suffered their third defeat in four games at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with batsman Joe Root saying talk of a Pietersen return was “irrelevant”.

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