England’s star batsman Kevin Pietersen, whose abrupt retirement from international limited-overs cricket at the end of May this year took the cricketing world by storm, has refused to rule out the possibility of a return to one-day cricket.
“Never say never. I’m a lot older and more mature than a few years ago, so you never know,” he said while answering a question regarding a possible return to one-day cricket to the Daily Mail. “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.”
“… maybe all I needed was a break. Who knows? I’ve played a lot of cricket in the last seven years,” he added.
The right-hander is among England’s most experienced limited-overs batsmen, with a career spanning 127 ODIs (with 4184 runs to his credit), 36 T20Is (1176 runs), and 80 T20s (2329). Considered a T20 specialist, Pietersen has also featured prominently in tournaments such as the Indian Premier League.
However, the 32-year-old caused a major disturbance in the world of cricket when he retired from the limited-overs format of the game in May, citing the team’s busy schedule as the reason behind his move. The decision came 4 months before the ICC World Twenty20, scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka this September, where England will be playing as the defending champions.
Pietersen, whilst announcing his retirement, had expressed the desire to continue playing in the T20 format – however, an England and Wales Cricket Board contract rule dictates that any player who retires from one limited-overs format, is automatically ruled out of selection for the other.
While the ECB has remained adamant despite receiving a fair amount of flak for its policies, Pietersen has maintained that he is eager to be granted the chance to help England defend their title, and hopes that the board will be willing to compromise.
“I still hope there might be a compromise for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka,” said Pietersen. “The squad hasn’t been announced. I would love to play in that and defend our title with England.”
England, meanwhile, are currently playing a 5-match ODI series against Australia, and despite the initial panic following Pietersen’s retirement, have found capable replacements in the form of batsmen such Ian Bell.