Kevin Pietersen: ECB chief leaves door open for England return

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Kevin Pietersen: ECB chief leaves door open for England return

1 March 2015 :  Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves has refused to rule out a return for Kevin Pietersen and says England must be more aggressive in one-day cricket.

He told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek that selectors and coaches would make any final decision on Pietersen.

“The first thing he’s got to do if he wants to get back is play county cricket for somebody,” said Graves.

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The South Africa-born batsman has not played a competitive game in a longer format than Twenty20 since the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January 2014 – his final game for England.

Since then, he has appeared in domestic T20 cricket for Delhi Daredevils, Surrey, St Lucia Zouks and Melbourne Stars.

ECB managing director Paul Downton appeared to end speculation over Pietersen as recently as December, saying “more bridges have been burnt”  after Pietersen released an inflammatory autobiography in October, critical of many key ECB figures.

National selector James Whitaker said at the time there was “no way Kevin Pietersen will ever get back into an England team”.

However, Graves – who takes up his new ECB post in May for a five-year term – said he would not be involved in any final decision regarding Pietersen.

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“It’s down to the selectors, down to the coaches, of what they see, what is best for English cricket,” he said. “They will make the decisions and I will support them when it comes to that decision.”

Graves, 67, speaking after England were beaten for the third time at the World Cup in Sunday’s nine-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka, said there needs to be a discussion about England’s strategy.

The Yorkshire chairman has already appointed a new five-strong executive team at Lord’s and plans to produce a strategy document to present to the counties later this year.

Source : BBC Sport



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