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.

News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
News
Youngsters around the country living it up in des-res two-storey garden mansions with a balcony
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Extras
indybest
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal