Pietersen set for ECB meeting

The South Africa-born showman blasted an unbeaten triple century on the second day of Surrey’s championship clash with Leicestershire, then declared: “I think I deserve my England place.”

Pietersen revealed he was gearing up to meet England and Wales Cricket Board cricket director Strauss and chief executive Tom Harrison on Monday night to discuss his Test situation.

England’s new figurehead Strauss will make his first public address at Lord’s on Tuesday, where he will directly confront Pietersen’s situation.

The 34-year-old remained coy on his chances of forcing an England return, some 15 months after he was sacked following the disastrous Ashes series whitewash.

Pietersen spent Monday battering Leicestershire’s bowling attack, however, eclipsing his previous first-class best score of 254 not out.

“There is a meeting this evening and it’s a totally private matter,” said Pietersen when asked about seeing Strauss tonight.

“I’m not one for giving anything away, so you’re not getting anything out of that.”

Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan a a staunch Pietersen supporter – tweeted rumours of the meeting with Strauss, leading the 104-Test batsman to confirm those plans.

“I haven’t seen twitter but that is a private matter,” said Pietersen.

“They say timing is everything.

“He (Strauss) has come in, there’s a new chairman on Friday or Saturday, there has to be a new coach, Moores has gone.

“I’ve got to be careful what I say; it’s an interesting time, and what more can I do?

“I was told to go and get a county, I was told to score runs, I think I’m scoring runs.

“I’ve always said since my knee was sorted in Australia, after that first training session in Australia, I said that my knee’s good, and if my knee’s good, I’m going to play well.

“I played well in the Big Bash, I gave up a contract in India, I’m not playing for any money here – I’m dedicated to getting back my England place.

“I want my England place, and I think I deserve my England place.”

Despite his mammoth innings – which included 34 fours and 14 sixes across 431 minutes – Pietersen’s Test exile could well continue.

Paul Farbrace will take charge of England’s two Tests against New Zealand, with selection for the first clash to be confirmed on Thursday.

Pietersen rated his triple century as “one of the best innings I’ve ever played”, acutely aware of a chance to heap pressure on Strauss and the ECB to bring him back in from the cold.

“All I’ve been asked to do by the chairman-elect is to get a county and get runs,” Pietersen said.

“I’ve got runs, I’ve got a county and I do believe I’m good enough to play for England. All I can do is score runs – that’s it.

“The pressure I was under this morning, that’s one of the best innings I’ve ever played – purely because I knew that (on Tuesday) there’s a press conference, and I knew that there were things happening this evening.

“So I knew that I needed to basically answer any questions with runs on the deck.

“And goodness: 326 is a pretty good argument.”

Former England captain Strauss will lead the search to replace Peter Moores, with Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie hotly tipped for the vacancy.

Pietersen hailed the former Australia paceman as a strong contender.

“I’ve never unfortunately been managed or coached by him, but I’ve heard brilliant things about Jason Gillespie,” he said.

“All the Yorkshire guys I’ve spoken to say he’s fantastic, that he’s a brilliant man-manager, he’s very relaxed, not in your face, but he does the right things.

“He’s a strict disciplinarian, which is what you need to be to be good at your job.

“And if you want to go out there and take wickets and score runs, you have to be a strict disciplinarian to do that.

“I’ve done that my whole career. I’ve been as professional as anything: I’ve never missed a bus, never worn the wrong clothes, always practised as hard as I could practise because I want to be successful on the field.

“And that doesn’t change anywhere. I don’t know who’s going to get the job, but there’s a load of names knocking about. I’m willing to work with whoever gets the job.”

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