A new survey has found that England’s all-time leading run scorer across all formats, Kevin Pietersen, would be less welcome in the national side than under-pressure captain Alastair Cook, despite his purposeful effort to bring himself back into the fold, according to The Sun.
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The 34-year-old was also revealed not to be considered as England’s best batsman currently.
Pietersen has not played for the side since the Ashes humiliation in 2013-14, and appeared to burn his bridges with the ECB after his controversial second autobiography criticised much of the set-up. Following his high-profile sacking, the batsman was content becoming a touring Twenty20 player, having a contract in place with IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of this year’s competition.
But incoming ECB chief, Colin Graves had suggested that there may be a future for Pietersen at international level, should he sign with a county, and play first-class cricket.
He responded by cancelling his lucrative contract in India, and returning to former county Surrey. It appeared that there may be the slightest chance he could feature in the Ashes later this summer.
But the Sun’s survey suggests that only 43% of fans would like to see the South African born batsman return, while exactly the same figure were against his inclusion, with the remaining undecided.
He also lost out when the survey asked who would the people prefer to see out of Pietersen and current England Test captain, Alastair Cook for the first Ashes clash. Cook won that vote by 10%.
The final question also saw the former Hampshire star struggle to win support, as those surveyed would place Joe Root, and Ian Bell – who had a pretty poor World Cup – ahead of him as England’s best batsman.