England’s all-time leading run scorer Kevin Pietersen is hoping to reignite his international career, by pulling out of the Indian Premier League, and signing on with a county, according to the Telegraph.
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Pietersen was controversially sacked from the England squad following the Three Lions’ embarrassing whitewash defeat to Australia in the 2013/14 Ashes series, and appeared to burn his bridges with the movers and shakers within the England Cricket Board after releasing his second – and much more revealing – autobiography, which criticised the culture within the England dressing room.
With the writing seemingly on the wall for the batsman in the international arena, he decided to become a touring twenty20 player. He was the leading run scorer for the Melbourne Stars in the winter’s Big Bash tournament, helping them to the semi-finals, and had been bought by IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad for around £300,000 ahead of this year’s competition. But he now looks set to snub that contract.
The 34-year-old was given hope when incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves offered something of an olive branch to the South African born batsman, by suggesting that county form, rather than past reputation would be the basis for future selection.
In response to this news, Pietersen has offered himself out across the county circuit, and it appears that a return to old team Surrey may be on the cards, as he attempts to get back into the national side – still led incidentally by Alastair Cook, the captain when Pietersen was sacked – ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.
Now in his mid-thirties, Pietersen may not have long to restablish himself as an England cricketer, but what better to mark the tenth anniversary of his maiden Test century – which helped his side reclaim the Ashes for the first time in 18 years – than to banish the painful memories of 18 months ago, when Australia blew England away in such emphatic manner, and return the little urn home?