Pietersen could have already played his last Test for England

Selectors ready to look to the future at Lord's with little sign of compromise in row over IPL participation

England are ready to end Kevin Pietersen's international career to demonstrate that no man is bigger than the team. They are steadfastly refusing to accede to a string of demands about his future treatment and unless compromise is reached quickly the Test match against South Africa at Lord's next week could easily be his last – if he gets that far.

"I can't see any immediate prospect of a rapprochement," said Angus Porter, Professional Cricketers' Association chief executive. "He's likely to play next week but it becomes an issue with the next contracts in September."

But with both sides seemingly in entrenched positions, there can be no certainty that Pietersen will be selected for the final game of the series, which England must win to retain their status at the top of the ICC Test rankings. Whatever anybody is saying publicly the issue is bound to be a distraction.

The England and Wales Cricket Board are keen to resume talks with Pietersen and his agent but want to avoid making any concessions because of what it might mean for other players in future. But there is also a growing feeling that Pietersen, albeit for his own ends, is raising points that need to be addressed.

Although there are a range of issues concerning Pietersen's availability, including a possible return to limited-overs cricket, the core of the dispute remains the Indian Premier League. Pietersen wants to play the entire six-week tournament for Delhi Daredevils next year which would entail his missing the two-match Test series against New Zealand at home in May.

Porter, who helped to set up the initial negotiations, said: "It is reasonably well known that Kevin has been proposing a couple of things that have been put on the table and they have quite a lot of merit to them. But I don't think the ECB are going to be in a position to address them even if they were minded to do so. I don't think he is necessarily doing what is right for the team but he is trying to secure what works best for him.

"But I wouldn't expect him to do anything else when he has a chance to secure the future for him and his family. The contract with the IPL is substantial and significant and I don't blame him for wanting to make the most of what is a short career."

Sympathy elsewhere for Pietersen might have been in shorter supply despite his wonderful innings of 149 in the second Test at Leeds last Saturday which yet again underlined his ability to change a team's fortunes. There is an obvious concern that his stance could damage the team next week and afterwards.

Mike Gatting, former England captain who is now the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, told Sky Sports News: "I'm not sure why he wants to quit Test cricket now. But that's up to KP. He's the man that makes the decisions, and nobody else.

"He's done really well for England, and he proved that at Headingley by playing a magnificent innings. It'll be sad to lose him.

"But it will give somebody else a chance to come into the England team and prove their worth."

It is also true though that Pietersen has raised wider issues about the demands on players. The PCA wants to discuss greater flexibility for players in the imminent central contract negotiations. There is also a more fundamental point about the early season Tests.

Porter said: "The primacy of Test cricket is well-intended but the practicalities are that the trend does not support that. In the early series at home each year England may well be able to put out a full strength team but that increasingly will not be the case with the opponents."

For three years after next year, ICC tournaments will be played in the spring with the staging of the IPL immediately after clashing with the start of the English international season. That will certainly mean that the tourists will be without several star players.

"You can probably get away with that for a year, maybe two but you can't keep getting away with it without weakening the game completely," said Porter.

Unwittingly, Pietersen may yet change the whole structure of English cricket.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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