Kevin Pietersen risks England breaking point if he puts IPL place before Test career

The batsman likely to be retained by Delhi Daredevils

The England cricket hierarchy could find out as soon as Thursday whether Kevin Pietersen intends to play in the Indian Premier League this year and, in doing so, risk his Test future, with the batsman likely to be retained by Delhi Daredevils.

The controversial batsman is at odds with coach Andy Flower and his international future has been thrown into doubt since England's humiliating 5-0 Ashes defeat. In order to be sure of his Test place, early-season county runs, rather than a quick buck in India, would strengthen Pietersen's case.

Pietersen's enthusiasm for the IPL has long been an issue between him and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Flower this week described the forthcoming IPL as a "tricky subject". Far more will be clear on Thursday, when IPL teams have to submit their list of up to five retained players. Pietersen played for Delhi in 2012 and even spent a few days with the side last year despite missing the season with injury.

It is very likely that Pietersen will be on the retained list, according to two sources close to the franchise, one telling The Independent he would be "very, very surprised" if Pietersen was not. Pietersen is well known to have enjoyed playing in the IPL and is well thought of in Delhi. The Australia batsman David Warner is also likely to be retained, although Indian legend Virender Sehwag may not be. The decision will be in the hands of incoming coach Gary Kirsten. Even if Pietersen is not on the retained list tomorrow he could still be in the pool for the auction on Wednesday 12 February.

Playing in the IPL is not incompatible with playing for England this year. The new central contracts allow participation up until 13 May – three weeks into the competition, at which point they will have to return for the start of the one-day international series against Sri Lanka on 22 May.

Some England players, though, such as Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes, are likely to turn down IPL deals to play county cricket and earn their Test places for the summer. Even if Pietersen returned on 13 May, he would miss Surrey's first five County Championship matches and would have played no first-class cricket before the first ODI on 22 May.

After the failings of the winter, Pietersen signing for Delhi would be a statement of intent. Flower was asked about his players' IPL commitments this week and replied: "It is something that we have to talk about, but that is a tricky subject, isn't it?"

Pietersen did, however, insist that he wanted to continue his England career through to winning back the Ashes next year. "I am shocked and saddened by reports concerning my future with England," he tweeted. "I wish to repeat my strong desire to continue playing for my country, and to help us regain the Ashes in 2015." Pietersen went on to criticise reports of Flower's disappointment with his conduct as "lies".

Flower, meanwhile, denied that he had issued an ultimatum that England must choose between him and Pietersen. "Neither I nor the wider ECB leadership group have made any decisions as to the future involvement of any individuals..." Flower said. "The reports that I have issued an ultimatum... to the ECB are totally inaccurate."

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?