Kevin Pietersen: Former batsman 'not part of England's plans'

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Kevin Pietersen not in our plans - James Whitaker

Kevin Pietersen has been told he is "not part" of England's plans by selector James Whitaker despite his vow to "do anything" to earn a recall.

Pietersen, 34, told BBC Test Match Special he was determined to regain his place in the England side and planned to play county cricket this summer.

But hours after the interview, Whitaker said England had moved on since the batsman's sacking in February 2014.

"We haven't had discussions at all about Kevin," he told the BBC.

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Kevin Pietersen could return for England this summer

Pietersen was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in the fallout of the 5-0 Ashes whitewash by Australia.

But he was told his international career might not be over just last month by incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves, who has said the player could return for England if he scored heavily in domestic cricket.

Whitaker, however, appeared to distance himself from Graves as he talked up the calibre of the current Test side.

Analysis - Pat Murphy, BBC Radio 5 live
Whatever gloss James Whitaker tried to put on Colin Graves' 5 live interview he is undoubtedly exasperated that his future boss set the Pietersen hare running again recently.
Today's comments from Whitaker are no different from those of five months ago when he said there was "no chance" of his return to the England fold. There are many hurdles ahead for such a scenario to unfold - not least a change in the personnel of those making such a decision.

"I know Colin very well, he is entitled to his opinion, but Kevin isn't part of our plans," said Whitaker, after naming England's 16-man squad to tour West Indies in April and May.

"We've been developing our team for a year in Test match cricket. We've had some good conversations about what happened after the end of Australia.

"We've produced some good middle-order players, with Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Ian Bell continuing to perform well, so we are happy with where we are in the middle order."

Post-England Pietersen (February 2014-present)
CompetitionTeamMatchesInningsRunsAverage
Indian Premier LeagueDelhi Daredevils111129429.40
English T20 BlastSurrey131222522.50
Caribbean Premier LeagueSt Lucia Zouks223015.00
Australian Big BashMelbourne Stars8829341.86

Earlier in the day, in his capacity as a Test Match Special pundit, Pietersen had confirmed his desire to play county cricket this summer in a bid to win his place back.

"I would love to get county runs," he said. "If I can do anything that can help me get back into it for England then it's something I want to do. I love playing for England."

Pietersen has agreed to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on 8 April.

That contract would have to be ripped up if he wanted to play the English domestic season, but Sunrisers coach Tom Moody has already approved his release, a decision which is expected to be finalised by the IPL by Wednesday.

Six counties have said they are keen on signing Pietersen, who has played only limited-overs cricket since being discarded by England.

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The South African-born batsman, who has scored 8,181 runs in 104 Tests for England, has not played domestic first-class cricket since June 2013.

During 2014, he played in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils, Twenty20 cricket for Surrey and for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League.

He also represented Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash at the start of 2015, scoring 293 runs in eight innings at an average of 41.86.

"There's a few things that need tinkering with, but I do want to make the right decision," added Pietersen. "I would have loved to have had it done sooner. I just have to wait and see."

Pietersen also said he "absolutely" could work again with current England coach Peter Moores, despite the "irretrievable breakdown" of their relationship in 2009.

The high-profile rift led to Moores being sacked and to Pietersen quitting as captain after just three games.

Former England bowler Matthew Hoggard told BBC Sport his ex-team-mate could only get back in the fold if there was a change of management.

He added: "What I don't understand is that we've had one group of people saying he's not going to play for England again and we've got Colin Graves saying that if that group of people change their mind he will stand by that.

"What I would like to happen is a definitive answer as to whether Kevin Pietersen can play for England and if the answer is yes, then there would be a list of criteria which he needed to fulfil to play for England again."

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