Kevin Pietersen has begun training with Surrey as the first step on his journey back to an England recall, but coach Peter Moores is dismissive, saying: ‘Pietersen is not even on my radar’.
Moores and Pietersen go back a long way: back to 2007 when Moores took over as coach of the England team, replacing Duncan Fletcher. Just 18 months later, he lost his job in a fall-out with Pietersen, who also lost his position as captain of England.
Pietersen had his first net session on Monday, and is expected to play his first game against Oxford MCCU on 12 April.
The maverick batsman, who was effectively fired after the last disastrous Ashes tour following a tumultuous and fractious period with the national team, was thrown a lifeline when the new ECB Chairman Colin Graves said the England option was open if Pietersen proved himself in County Cricket.
So desperate is the South African-born batsman to regain his England place that he gave up a lucrative deal in the IPL and to prove this ‘was not about money’ – he declared that his Surrey wages would be going to charity.
‘I have spent three weeks thinking about it and speaking to different people to work out the best decision. I always said this was not about money and I will be donating my full Surrey wage to my foundation,’ he wrote in his Telegraph column.
‘Even if this does not work out and I do not get back in the England team, I will at least end my career knowing I gave it another shot. I would kick myself for a long time if I walked away now without having a go.’
Moores, however, is away with England on their West Indies tour.
When he left he said: ‘Kevin’s not on this trip, so I don’t need to focus on Kevin at all. My focus is to support Alastair Cook as I always would and the 16 players on this tour. From my point of view Kevin isn’t on the radar. So he can’t be in my or Cooky’s focus at all.’
Moores said he would leave any long-term decisions on Pietersen’s future to Graves. ‘That’s not my decision: I’ve got enough decisions to make. said Moores on Pietersen’s future. It’s not about me getting personal, it’s about the focus on the England team.’
We’re having a meeting but there’s a certain England batsman having a net at The Oval and we can see it through the window. Distracting…
— AllOutCricket (@AllOutCricket) April 7, 2015
Off to work x ✌️ pic.twitter.com/VU9lCTZYTm
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) April 8, 2015