Pune's Kevin Pietersen unlikely to play in England again, claims Alec Stewart
KP was released by Surrey at the end of last season.
New Delhi: Kevin Pietersen's case has been a curious one. He has got the talent and the grace, but he is an outcast; and he continues to ply his trade as a freelancer, a mercenary
But the former England captain is unlikely to play in England again, according to Alec Stewart, who is Surrey's director of cricket. KP was released by the club at the end of last season.
"From the conversations I've had with him, we won't see him play in England again, which is sad. He's now, as I call him, a southern hemisphere player. Our off season is very much his cricket season," Stewart told ESPNcricinfo.
Over the last 12 months, he has played in the Caribbean Premier League in West Indies, Australia's Big Bash League, the Ram Slam in South Africa and the inaugural Pakistan Super League.
He is appearing in the ninth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on Friday with an elaborate opening ceremony, before Saturday's season opener between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Rising Pune Supergiants. KP is expected to start the match for the new franchise under the Indian skipper.
"So he's now going to have downtime with the family, he's going to be in the IPL, he's not going to go to the Caribbean Premier League, he's going to have a three-four month break and then he'll go off to the Bangladesh Premier League, I think. So he's got enough cricket around but sadly, no, we won't see him," Stewart added.
KP, 35, is yet to formally retired from international cricket even as his relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) knows no signs of improving. He did prompted retirement in 2012, but retracted the retirement.
"So he's now going to have downtime with the family, he's going to be in the IPL, he's not going to go to the Caribbean Premier League, he's going to have a three-four month break and then he'll go off to the Bangladesh Premier League, I think. So he's got enough cricket around but sadly, no, we won't see him."
Pietersen, regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to have played for England, last played international cricket in the 2013–14 Ashes and subsequent ODIs.
There are in fact two groups of people in England -- one rooting for KP's return to Three Lions set-up, another against such a move.
In his absence, England always rued missing a genuine match winner. But after England's 2016 ICC World Twenty20 final appearance, all doors have been effectively closed for KP's return to international cricket.