Kevin Pietersen says he has not given up hope of playing for England again


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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen still harbours ambitions of returning to international cricket and has urged the current England selectors to be “braver” in their choices.

The 34-year-old former captain was ruled out of England’s future plans earlier this year following a disastrous Ashes series over the winter.

Current captain Alastair Cook is thought to be one of the main movers behind Pietersen’s exclusion from the team, and the South African-born batsman was unwilling to enter into the debate over whether Cook should remain as captain of the side.

“That’s not for me to say,” Pietersen said when asked if Cook was the right man to lead England. However, when answering questions about his own international career ahead of today’s MCC v Rest of the World match to commemorate the bicentenary of Lord’s, Pietersen admitted he would love to represent England on the famous ground again.

“I never give up. I’m only 34, I’m still young, so hopefully one day I can play here in front of full houses, but I just want to enjoy Saturday,” he said. “I’ve got the hunger for it and the body’s good so I want to go out there and do well.”

Having recently lost a home Test series to Sri Lanka, England face the challenge of a touring India side in the coming weeks and Pietersen believes the selectors need to put more on the line if they are to pick a winning team.

“In order for the public to get hold of the team and to accept what’s going on [we need] braver selections,” he told Sky Sports News. “The talent is there – there are some fantastic cricketers out there. England just need to be a little bit more brave. If you’re going to talk the talk, you’d better walk the walk.”

Australian spin legend Shane Warne has backed Pietersen to show England what they are missing when the two line up for the Rest of the World today.

“KP is an absolute match-winner,” said Warne. “He is a superstar and a wonderful player. He is fantastic to watch. I’m sure he will turn it on on Saturday and smash it all over the park.

“He has played well over the years at Lord’s in his time with England and hopefully he can do that on Saturday.”