Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PIETERSEN BLAST AS HE OFFERS HIS HELP; Slams England Structure Hits out at Strauss 'U-Turn' Claims Players Ask Advice KP Blast as He Says He'll Help out Team

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

PIETERSEN BLAST AS HE OFFERS HIS HELP; Slams England Structure Hits out at Strauss 'U-Turn' Claims Players Ask Advice KP Blast as He Says He'll Help out Team

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomose Cricket Correspondent

KEVIN PIETERSEN has claimed he would accept an offer to help the England cricket team, despite turning down an advisory post in the one-day set-up earlier this year.

Pietersen rejected the chance of a role with England's limited-overs sides in a conversation with Andrew Strauss last May. At the time, England managing director Strauss Pietersen's former captain ruled out a playing return for Pietersen, even though he had made a triple-century for Surrey that day.

Yet Pietersen, 35, now seems to have changed his mind and has repeated claims that England players still ring him for advice. He told BBC Radio Four: "Of course I'd like to help. I love English cricket. I want these guys to do well and I love seeing what [coaches] Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace are doing. I haven't a clue whether I will be asked and I certainly don't worry about it."

Pietersen also reacted with exasperation to the idea that the new England structure, led by Strauss, will devote more attention to performances in the shorter forms. That could even mean certain England players are allowed to miss Test matches in favour of competing in the lucrative Indian Premier League something Pietersen says he advocated often during the later stages of his England career. The batsman now plays as a freelance Twenty20 specialist in different competitions around the world.

Pietersen's views caused friction in the dressing room at the time, especially with then-captain Strauss and Andy Flower, England's coach from 2009-13. It is thought Strauss is now considering a more flexible approach to the balance between Test and oneday cricket.

Pietersen said: "From a person [Strauss] who told me England would never let [players miss Tests to play in the IPL], it really makes me laugh. It's just unbelievable.

"That's what I was saying for years. What the hell do you need to play those early Test matches [in May for]? Why can't these players go and play in the IPL, where you learn so much, you meet different players? …

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