Pietersen ‘thinking of England’

After Alistair Cook was replaced by Eoin Morgan as skipper of England???s ODI side on Saturday, two selectors made it clear that this change of captaincy does not pave the way for the South African-born Pietersen to rejoin the team.

Downton, managing director of England Cricket, was quick to point out: ???We parted company with Kevin in January because throughout the ECB management, from the dressing room up to the board, it was felt that it was the right decision to go in a slightly different direction.

???If anything, more bridges have been burnt by Kevin???s book (autobiography). There is no interest from our point of view in going backwards.???

And Whitaker was just as forthright saying: ???No, no, no. Pietersen will never get back into an England team.???

However, this does not appear to have deterred the 34-year-old ??? who is currently playing in Australia???s Big Bash for Melbourne Stars ??? with Pietersen tweeting on Sunday: ???Despite the rather disrespectful comments by Paul Downton and James Whitaker, I remain determined to regain my England place.???

Pietersen does have the support of former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden who told the BBC: “I think it’s ludicrous that Kevin isn’t in the England side. That’s just crazy.

“One thing that I really love about him in the Big Bash League is his innovation. World Cups are won on innovative batting.???

Following Morgan???s appointment on Saturday, Pietersen had tweeted: ???Great news. Top player, leader and bloke. Hope I get to play for him.”

Pietersen has played 136 ODIs for England, notching nine tons and with an impressive average of 40.73. The World Cup starts in Australia in February next year.