Kevin Pietersen considers playing for South Africa

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen still holds the record for most international runs scored by an England batsman

Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen has said he could return to international cricket with his native South Africa.

The 35-year-old has not played an international match since he was sacked by England in 2014.

He has since become a T20 specialist but would be eligible to play for South Africa in all forms of the game in 2018.

"Yes, it is a thought in my head," said Pietersen, who has also not given up hope of a return to the England set-up.

Pietermaritzburg-born Pietersen left South Africa 16 years ago and qualified to play for England via his English mother.

The right-hander scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47.28 in 104 Tests but was discarded after the Ashes whitewash in Australia.

He later released an autobiography criticising some of his team-mates and officials at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

He last played first-class cricket in 2015 after new ECB chairman Colin Graves suggested he could be recalled to the national team, only for cricket director Andrew Strauss to reaffirm Pietersen's exile.

One-day captain Eoin Morgan said in February that the door was "completely shut" on Pietersen returning for England.

Pietersen has played T20 cricket in domestic competitions around the world and is currently playing for the Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League.

"The eligibility for South Africa is still [more than] a year away. So we will have to wait and see but [an England call-up] is definitely still an option," said Pietersen in quotes on the Cricket Australia website.external-link