Kevin Pietersen want to play for England again as he prepares to light up Lord's
Last Updated: 05/07/14 6:24am
Kevin Pietersen will not give up hope of playing again for England and insists his desire for international cricket is as strong as ever.
The 34-year-old was controversially excluded from the England set-up for all formats of the game following the disastrous Ashes tour over the winter.
England and Wales Cricket Board officials claimed the batsman had become “disconnected” from the team, and he was also accused of failing to give his support to captain Alastair Cook.
Pietersen has the chance to show England what they are missing when he lines up for the Rest of the World against the MCC in Saturday’s star-studded match to celebrate the bicentenary of Lord’s.
But while he reiterated his hopes of an England recall, Pietersen believes he does not need to play more County Championship cricket to prove his credentials.
Pietersen captained the Delhi Daredevils in this year’s Indian Premier League, and he is currently playing one-day cricket for Surrey before he heads to the Caribbean to play in another Twenty20 competition for St Lucia.
When asked if he would have a better chance to return for England if he featured in more four-day cricket, he said: "No, cricket has never been the issue.
"I have played 104 Test matches, I've got enough runs. I think the resume is okay - cricket is not the issue. I have got a phone in my pocket and a pretty good resume, it is not about the cricket.
"I would love to play for England again - I have still got hope. I don't think it might happen, I live in hope every day, I'm 34 and I'm young.
"I can still play and I have a good resume and if things change one day I would gladly accept the opportunity because I love playing for England, if I didn't I would have retired - I would love to play again.
"I've never lost interest in playing for England, I loved it and every single day I wanted to improve. I had ambitions and I had goals and they are still there.
"I probably needed a few months out with my knee for sure, but that seems to have got itself back working okay so it is just a case of hoping the phone rings one day.”
England have had an uncertain start to their “new era” under returning coach Peter Moores, and Pietersen believes they need to show more bravery with both team selection and on-field tactics.
He said: “In order for the public to accept what’s going on, they need braver selections. The talent is there, you’ve got some fantastic cricketers out there.
“I think England just need to be a bit braver and more attacking. If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.”
But he refused to enter the debate over whether England should replace captain Cook, who was believed to be one of the main influences in Pietersen's acrimonious departure.
Asked if Cook was the right man to lead England forward, Pietersen added simply: "That's not for me to say."
In the meantime, Pietersen is relishing the opportunity to play in front of a sell-out crowd at Lord’s on Saturday, something he feared he would never do again.
"I have always enjoyed playing at Lord's, it is an incredible occasion and something I'm looking forward to," he added.
"I didn't think I was going to get the opportunity to play in front of a full house at Lord's again but I will always still have hope to play many more games in front of full houses here - I'm only 34, the body is good and I have got ambition.
"I would love to say that I will get a big hundred (on Saturday) in front of the world's audience but that doesn't happen in cricket, I'm not playing cricket enough at the moment to know if I'm in good nick or not."
Shane Warne will captain the Rest of the World side against Sachin Tendulkar’s MCC XI, while the likes of Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee will also be on show.
Pietersen told Sky Sports News: “With the guys I’m sharing a dressing room with and playing against, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I’ve grown up admiring these guys, watching them play and wanting them to do well.
“To be playing with and against some of them is an incredible opportunity.”
Pietersen is likely to receive some hostile treatment from Lee and Shaun Tait, although he admitted his relief at not having to face up to Peter Siddle and Yuvraj Singh, who claimed his wicket a number of times in his England career.
“Hopefully Brett and Shaun will come off their half run-up” he added. “I know Shaun has said he hasn’t bowled for six months, so that’s good news. But if he bowls at 95mph and doesn’t know where it’s going that could be bad news.
“Luckily Peter Siddle, who got me out a few times in Australia, and Yuvraj Singh are on my team so I don’t have to face them. That would have been a problem!
“I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic days here with the team and also personally. It’s a great ground and it’s going to be a fantastic day.
“I just want to enjoy the match. I’ve got the hunger for it and the body is good, so I want to go out a do well.”
Watch the star-studded bicentenary clash at Lord's live on Sky Sports 1, coverage begins at 10am.