KP hints at Surrey return

The Daily Telegraph reported that Surrey are the favourites to re-sign Pietersen, who was sacked by the England team’s managing director Paul Downton last winter but who continues to say he wants to resume his international career.

Pietersen, who writes a column for the Telegraph, retweeted the story and shared a picture of the Telegraph’s sports page, while writing “#626 #185” – which references his Test and ODI numbers for England.

Following his sacking Pietersen, who turns 35 this summer, wrote a book which was strongly critical of several of his England team-mates and it appeared that he would finish his career playing Twenty20 cricket overseas.

But with England limping to an early exit in the World Cup, speculation about a return has resumed and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s incoming chairman Colin Graves said last month that players would be picked on performance and not personality when he takes over from Giles Clarke in May.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad signed Pietersen for around #300,000 in the IPL auction in January, but in order to be considered for England once again Pietersen would have to pull out as the IPL season runs from April 9 to May 25.

He has also signed to play for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, which starts at the end of June.

Pietersen made 23 centuries and averaged 47.28 in 104 Test appearances for England, while adding nine tons at an average of 40.73 in 136 ODIs.

However, despite his obvious talents and England’s apparent need with an Ashes series looming, he would face a number of challenges to get back into the side.

Quite apart from the question of whether he could be reintegrated in the dressing room following his explosive book, Pietersen has not played first-class cricket since the end of the Ashes tour in January 2014, and his form in T20 fluctuated before a successful Big Bash campaign in Australia