|England’s Kevin Pietersen, who recently retired from One-Day Internationals and was forced to retire from T20 Internationals as well, has spoken about a potential return to short over formats, but under certain conditions.
The South Africa-born batsman, who is still a test cricketer, decided to retire from ODIs last month, wishing to continue in T20s. But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) told him that if he retired from the 50-over format, he would have to retire from the short 20-over matches as well, stating that if he was allowed to do such a thing, England would lose a lot of strength in ODIs as many players would follow Pietersen and drop the sandwiched format.
Pietersen now, has expressed desire to return to “white ball” cricket, but under one major condition: A huge change in the super-hectic English cricket schedule, meaning at least a little free time.
“I've had my wife, mother, dad, mother-in-law, brothers and my best mates all saying to me ‘don't you wish you were out there batting against Australia (in the on-going one-day series)?’ and I've said to them I haven't missed it at all. But maybe all I needed was a break. Who knows? I've played a lot of cricket in the last seven years,” he was quoted saying.
When he was asked if he would ever reconsider his retirement, he said: “Never say never. I'm a lot older and more mature than a few years ago, so you never know. Anything can happen. I'll never say no, but the schedule would have to be a hell of a lot different for me to come back. Wait and see.”
Pietersen, who was the Man of the Tournament when England won their maiden World T20 in the Caribbean two years ago, still hopes that he will be able to play the shortest format for his country when they defend the title in Sri Lanka this September.
“I still hope there might be a compromise for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka,” he said.
“The squad hasn't been announced. “I would love to play in that and defend our title with England. If it happens, great, but I'm not holding my breath.”
Although England’s schedule for the game runs almost through the entire year, Pietersen’s critics believe that he would have been able to continue in all three formats if he gave the Indian Premiere League (IPL) a miss. Pietersen spoke about this as well, saying that expecting him or any other player to miss the IPL was unrealistic and that his participation wasn’t simply a matter of cash.
“Okay, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) may say me playing in the IPL makes it hard to rest me but what annoys me is that, with every other board the IPL is a matter of fact. It's not going away. It's going to be there and players want to play in it. Players want to go and earn their money and unless you let them decisions will have to be made.
“Big players want to play in front of big audiences. You want to hear your name chanted by 50,000 people. It's amazing. It makes you feel so good.
“The window for that (IPL) has been created by the other boards but unfortunately not ours,” he added.
So far, England have managed to cope well without the star batsman and recently won a 5-ODI series against Australia, which is still underway. They lead 3-0. Ian Bell, Pietersen’s replacement, has scored 364 runs in 5 innings, with an impressive average of 72.8.