England’s new Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss has reportedly told Kevin Pietersen that he will not be called up for the national team. Despite scoring 326* for Surrey against Leicestershire, the exiled Englishman has received the heart-breaking news from his former skipper.
The South Africa-born Pietersen was sacked from the national team after England’s 5-0 defeat in the Ashes Down Under. After scoring a sensational triple hundred, there were calls for a comeback by Pietersen to the English setup, but the management has decided otherwise.
“What more can I do?”
Pietersen was distraught at the news and questioned how he could have put his name in the hat more emphatically.
“What more can I do? All I can do is score runs. I'm incredibly proud of how I played under pressure,” Pietersen said.
“People were saying on social media that this would be a career-defining innings for me and they were asking me if I was ready for it. I knew there was a lot of pressure on me and I was feeling it,” he added.
Having been sacked back in April, 2014, Pietersen released his autobiography which talked about the bullying culture in the England squad. He even criticized several of his teammates in the book.
However, amidst talk of a national return, the 34-year-old relinquished his commitments to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) to prove his desire to represent England. He chose to play for Surrey over IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I have a burning desire to play for England again”
Talking about the 326-runs innings off 373 balls which included 34 fours and 14 sixes, Pietersen admitted that it was probably the best innings of his career. He also claimed that he is batting better than ever and revealed his desire to play for England again.
“It is probably the best innings I've ever played,” said Pietersen. “I have a burning desire to play for England again. I'm desperate to do so.
“I've said for a while that I'm batting better than ever and this is proof of that.”
He also said that he hoped he would reach the 400-run mark. His previous career best was 254.
“It was an incredibly special moment, a special feeling. I've always wondered if I would get anywhere near 300, but if I bat well on Tuesday, maybe I could get near 400,” he concluded.
When the controversial batsman reached his triple century, England fans were heard singing, “Are you watching, Andrew Strauss?” in a dig at the newly-appointed England Director for snubbing Pietersen.Published 12 May 2015, 03:20 IST