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.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss