Newell: No ECB direction on KP

The controversial batsman was sacked by the ECB in January 2014 but gave up a lucrative IPL contract to rejoin Surrey for the coming season in a bid to win back his place in the England set up.

Recently-appointed ECB chairman Colin Graves appeared to open the door for Pietersen to return to international action but head coach Peter Moores and captain Alastair Cook refused to be drawn on his potential reinstatement during the press conferences for the forthcoming West Indies tour.

When asked by Sky Sports News HQ if England selectors are under any pressure from the ECB over the issue of Pietersen, Newell said: “No.

“I’ve been on the selection panel for a year and his name hasn’t come in any of the meetings that I’ve been to so it’s not a name that’s come up for discussion.

“Whether it does in the future, it’s up to people at the ECB to make that call and then we will pick a squad and a team accordingly.

“I think it’s good for county cricket that he’s playing county cricket because there’s no doubt it will increase interest in the game. There’s no doubt from Surrey’s perspective it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.”

Newell is also director of cricket at Nottinghamshire and is looking to bolster his squad ahead of another busy season.

He said: “We’re hoping to increase competition within our squad. We’re going to be short in our squad with international call-ups and we have two of our key batsmen injured already at the moment.

“We need a bigger squad if we’re going to compete in all three tournaments.

“Our view is let’s get to August and try and be competitive in all competition. We got to that position last year and we faded badly. You need high quality players and fit and strong players.

“We need to ensure that we’re batting and bowling in September as well as we hopefully are in April and May.”

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