LONDON (AFP) – Exiled England star Kevin Pietersen on Friday said he would consider any offer to return as England selectors met to decide which players are set for World Cup duty.
Pietersen was dropped from the squad by the England and Wales Cricket board in February and the controversial batsman subsequently released an autobiography claiming the England dressing room had been beset by a bullying culture.
But, as selectors considered their options Pietersen wrote on Twitter that his “phone is on” and, in response to a fellow user asking if he would take a call from the England management, he replied: “Of course!”
Pietersen top-scored on Thursday with a rapid 66 for Melbourne Stars in the opening match of the Big Bash League, showing the 34-year-old can still be a formidable performer.
Whether or not Pietersen’s name comes up at all, it seems certain he will not be included in England’s 16-man squad for the Tri-series in Australia next month, which also features the home side and India.
That squad must be trimmed to 15 players for the World Cup, with the key issue facing the selectors being whether to retain Alastair Cook as captain.
Cook is taking nothing for granted as the selectors consider all aspects of England’s 5-2 defeat in Sri Lanka as part of their scheduled series review, before making the announcement of their touring squad on Saturday.
Cook, who is struggling with his batting, has conceded he has no “divine right” to be selected to lead the team to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.
However England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton has hinted strongly that Cook, who turns 30 on Christmas Day, is highly likely to retain leadership responsibilities.