Kevin Pietersen's "love-hate" relationship with English international cricket seems to be back on the rocks once again. Despite scoring a career-high score for his county side Surrey over the last few days, he will not resume his England Test career this summer. New director of #Cricket Andrew Strauss has at least set the record straight for now by making the decision known.
Pietersen's triple century
'KP' has ably demonstrated the talent that he still possesses when wielding the willow. His quite brilliant 355 not out against Leicestershire at the Oval was precisely what he believed he needed to do, following earlier comments by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves. The suggestion had been made that should Pietersen re-establish himself with a county side and score sufficient runs, then he would come back into the reckoning for selection for the Ashes.
Illusion for Pietersen
Strauss' latest remarks for Sky Sports contradict that 'illusion'. In his new role within the England set-up, he made it clear today that the South-African born batsman should not hold out hope of facing the Aussies. Another former England captain, Michael Vaughan has been swift to suggest that he believes that Pietersen has been misled by the ECB. After following the path that they seemed to indicate would satisfy their criteria for selection, Vaughan thinks that it was ultimately "a dead end."
Decision made known to the player
Pietersen had (thankfully) been informed of the decision yesterday, as he reflected on his massive individual score in his county's Division Two match. Interestingly, he has so far outshone another giant of the game in that match, none other than Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. The former one-day captain of his national side managed 'just' 36 in the same innings for Surrey. He has joined the pro-Pietersen brigade who at least back his consideration for a return to Test cricket. He shares a similar view to other cricketing luminaries such as former South-African captain Graeme Smith and Aussie spin legend Shane Warne. All three have expressed their bewilderment at Strauss' treatment of 'KP' by taking to social media.
Test return looks unlikely in futureFor now though it seems that the door is firmly shut on 'KP' coming back into the England team in the imminent future. His spell out of the Test limelight will be extended, following his sacking in February 2014. Whether the 34-year-old believes that he can change the minds of the ECB and in particular Strauss is uncertain. Would a continuation of his current form for Surrey propel him back into the thoughts of the selectors? At present it seems unlikely, with Strauss hinting at major differences between the two men and a "massive trust issue" that exists.