Kevin Pietersen may give up IPL to help earn his England recall

The 34-year-old has not played international cricket for 14 months after being sacked after the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia

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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen could enhance his chances of a recall to the England team by missing out on a lucrative deal with the Indian Premier League in favour of playing county cricket next season.

The 34-year-old has not played international cricket for 14 months after being sacked after England’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia. But after England’s disastrous World Cup campaign, the door seems to be opening for a return.

Pietersen does not have much time to make up his mind. He has signed for Hyderabad in the IPL, which starts on 8 April and only finishes on 25 May, four days after the start of England’s first Test of the summer against New Zealand. The IPL deal is believed to be worth around £200,000.

The incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman, Colin Graves, suggested earlier this month that he might be recalled to the England side if he “scores a lot of runs” in the domestic game. Since then it is understood that six counties have expressed an interest.

Pietersen, who is commentating on the World Cup, was asked on Fox Sports if he would play county cricket. “It just makes perfect sense to explore different things,” he said. “There will be a change of scenery at board level with the ECB and I’ve always expressed my desire to play for England again if I get the opportunity. It seems encouraging but I’ve got a few steps that I’ve got to climb.”

Pietersen added that he would be able to work with the current England coach Peter Moores again despite a falling-out between the two during Moores’ previous stint in 2009, which led to Pietersen losing the captaincy and Moores leaving the post.

“I can’t captain because I don’t think my relationships are great,” said Pietersen, “but I played under [previous head coach] Andy Flower and probably had a pretty worse relationship with Flower than I did with Moores.”