Pietersen seeking Graves talks


Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Kevin Pietersen is seeking face-to-face talks with England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves as he attempts to resurrect his international career.

The 34-year-old’s England career was ended just over 12 months ago due to what ECB managing director Paul Downton described as his ‘disengagement’ with team-mates during the Sydney Test defeat that concluded the Ashes whitewash Down Under.

Pietersen has since released an autobiography in which he criticised many of his England team-mates but Graves appeared to open the door to a return when he hinted that impressive first-class performances with a county could provide a route back to the top of the game.

That prompted the batsman to open talks with Surrey but the path back to international cricket is still far from clear with England Test captain Alastair Cook calling a comeback “highly unlikely” and national selector James Whitaker stating that Pietersen is “not part of our plans”.

But Pietersen, who has 23 Test hundreds to his name, is still seeking a meeting with Graves about a possible return for this summer’s Ashes after revealing he has spoken with the new chairman over the phone.

“I have had conversations with the chairman but I think what we need to do is sit down and do it face to face,” he told the BBC’s Test Match Special. “I don’t think me speaking on a telephone is the way forward in making big decisions.

“I love what Colin Graves has done for Yorkshire. It’s an exciting time so to be part of that would be amazing.”

Pietersen’s Test debut came during the famous Ashes series win of 2005 and he admits that the 5-0 loss on which he bowed out still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

“It does make me hungry,” he added.

“Up until two weeks ago there was no chance in a couple of people’s minds that I would have the opportunity to come back and try to avenge the 5-0 defeat.

“Playing international cricket is something I’ve dreamt of as a child. Given an opportunity it’s like being reborn or starting a career again.”

While Graves apparently seems open to a return for Pietersen, how he would be accepted within the dressing room could be an issue after the criticism of a number of England players in his book.

Graeme Swann has retired and Matt Prior’s return is highly uncertain due to injury but James Anderson and Stuart Broad, two of the players Pietersen accused of ‘running’ the dressing room and creating a ‘bullying’ culture within it., still remain.

Pietersen also had a rift with England coach Peter Moores in 2009 which led to the player losing the captaincy and Moores losing his job but the South-Africa born batsman has insisted he could play for Moores and is hopeful he would not have trouble in the England dressing room.

“There are so many of the guys in that side who are my real buddies,” he said.

“It has been frustrating over the last 12 months to get messages and little bits of information from the dressing-room asking me ‘how would you do this and that?’.

“I’d prefer to be out there helping them, being the senior batter who can go out there and hopefully carry England through sessions and be positive and take the attack to oppositions.”

Published: Friday 20th March 2015 by The News Editor

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