Test captain Alastair Cook could quit the England set-up if Kevin Pietersen is recalled to the side, reports say.
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According to The Independent, ECB bosses fear that Cook may stand down if the controversial batsman is given another chance at Test level.
Pietersen was granted a release from his Indian Premier League contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad, meaning he is now free to join a County side for the English domestic summer.
Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves said the door would be left open to the batsman if his form in the red-ball game warranted a call-up to the Test side.
Reports suggest the South African-born player is close to securing a deal with Surrey.
“I’m going to do everything in my power to earn a recall to the international set-up,” Pietersen is quoted as saying by the BBC.
“I’ve never made any secret of my overwhelming desire to once again represent England.”
Cook last week made it known that he was not keen on a Pietersen return.
“I think (a Pietersen return) is very unlikely,” Cook is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“There’s been a hell of a lot of stuff happened with his book and all that kind of stuff. It’s a long way back from that.”