Pietersen could quit England Test team

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has indicated that the Test against South Africa at Lords could also be his final Test appearance for England. In comments that will come as a shock to the England management and to fans alike, Pietersen has hinted that he might be ready to call time on England and devote his career to the lucrative 20 over format.

Asked to comment on the rumours on the BBC’s Test Match Special, Pietersen was unforthcoming. "I can't give any assurances, no," he said. "I love playing Test cricket for England. But there are obstacles in the way. Maybe it will be my last. We will talk after the next Test. Anything is possible."

A rift opened up between Pietersen and the England management when he announced that he was retiring from one-day internationals. To his dismay, the England bosses extended that to cover all short-form cricket and excluded Pietersen from their squad for the Twenty20 World Cup.

Pietersen has a habit of playing at his best when he is riled. A brilliant 149 in the drawn Headingley Test reiterated his credentials as one of the world’s most exciting batsman. He is also a prickly personality and this is not his first falling out with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He would not be drawn on the nature of his grievance, although he insisted it wasn’t about money. "You'll find out more soon enough," is all he would say. "The saddest part is that there are spectators out there who love watching me play. But it's tough being me playing for England."

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