Hoggard: KP has no chance

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And the ex-Yorkshire fast bowler believes incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves was “careless” to suggest otherwise.

Hoggard, an Ashes winner alongside Pietersen in the latter’s debut series in 2005, sees no way back for the outspoken batsman despite Graves’ indication that he would be considered for action again should he re-commit to county cricket and make a success of it.

Pietersen reacted positively to that, but Hoggard questions the logic of raising the issue in public.

“I don’t think he has even half a chance of coming back,” said Hoggard, who is embarking of the Great Swim Challenge for charity Cricket Without Boundaries.

“I think KP is too far removed from this side, with too much water under the bridge for him to come back.

“So it’s a fairly careless statement from the new chairman. It makes stories at a time where England don’t need any more bad press.

“It’s an extraordinary statement at an extraordinary time. At the ECB you’ve got one set of people saying ‘absolutely no chance, no way’ then you have Colin saying the opposite.

“How can an organisation work like that? There has to be a united front.

“This should be discussed behind closed doors and if the answer is ‘no way’ then don’t come out and say there is.”

Pietersen is England’s top international run-scorer but his influence in the dressing room has been questioned.

Hoggard has his own experiences of dealing with that, having felt the need to address Pietersen’s behaviour eight years ago.

“In 2006-07 when we were in Australia I sat down with Kevin in Perth and said ‘you’re doing a lot of things that are annoying people, and I’m one of them’. Let’s have a drink and discuss it,” added Hoggard.

“Kevin wants to win games of cricket, he wants to be centre stage and that’s fine, that’s not a bad thing.

“That mentality is a positive thing, but other ways he goes around and conducts himself, maybe not so much.”

On Tuesday morning Pietersen’s recent charm offensive appeared to be on hold after he criticised England’s World Cup team selection.

The exiled batsman took to Twitter to suggest the reasons behind their faltering World Cup campaign are that England are not picking their best team and they are too obsessed by statistics.

Pietersen made the comments after South Africa passed 400 for the second successive game, as they piled up 411-4 against Ireland in Canberra.

Initially he tweeted: “cricket lovers – if you don’t believe that world cricket has changed, then you never will! SA just scored 400 again in a 50 over game!”

He then replied to a comment, writing: “@kingymoments: @KP24 but, but, but … Why can’t England?!” Cos the best team isn’t playing & too interested in stats!”