KP: Morgan would love me in team

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Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Kevin Pietersen is convinced England’s new one-day captain Eoin Morgan “would love” to have him back in his World Cup team.

Pietersen was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board 11 months ago, and has since published an autobiography in which he alleged a bullying culture in the dressing room existed under former coach Andy Flower.

The 34-year-old was therefore not considered when England chose their squad to play in the World Cup, which will get under way in Australia and New Zealand next month.

Management figures have also made it abundantly clear on many occasions that there will simply be no way back into the team for the record-breaking South Africa-born batsman.

But Pietersen, in conversation with ex-Australia captain Ricky Ponting during a Big Bash commentary broadcast on Sky Sports 2, is encouraged that England’s switch of captain – Alastair Cook dropped in favour of Morgan – means that at least one senior voice will now be speaking in his favour.

Recalling the circumstances of his axing last February, after England’s Ashes whitewash in Australia, Pietersen insists he has still yet to hear a credible reason for his exclusion.

“I was sacked – P45,” he said.

“I don’t know why I’m not playing for England … I haven’t got a clue.”

The ECB has not put forward anything other than “cricketing reasons” for calling time on Pietersen’s international career.

Asked if he has been made aware of any, he added: “Never … they’re not allowed to … for legal reasons.

“They still haven’t embellished on anything.”

In Morgan, however, Pietersen believes he has a significant ally.

“I know that the current captain would love to have me in the England team,” he said.

“I get on pretty well with most of the guys in there, if not all of them.

“I don’t see why (I couldn’t play again).”

If the call came – only an injury could lead to that, because the final squads for all 14 competing countries have already been announced – Pietersen would still answer it.

“I want to play for England,” he said.

“If I get the opportunity to play for England … I’m 34 years of age, Kumar Sangakkara is 38 and has just scored a double hundred.

“I honestly believe I’m batting as well as I’ve ever batted.

“I’ve got over my knee injury, which was huge – over the last 18 months, I’d just hated batting because my knee has been so sore.

“Given half an opportunity to go and play the way I’m playing at the moment, of course I would.”

Several former team-mates came in for criticism in Pietersen’s book.

But he said: “The majority of those guys are gone – they’re not in the side any more.”

Managing director Paul Downton is, however, among those who have spelled out that the four-time Ashes winner will not be invited back under any circumstances.

Pietersen admits it may be a long shot, but he has not given up hope.

“I’m not so sure,” he added.

“There’s been some quotes flying around from the chairman of selectors, the managing director – I don’t think we got off on the best foot.

“But who knows? Things change.”

Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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