England one-day skipper Eoin Morgan has doused any lingering hope that exiled batsman Kevin Pietersen may have had of earning an international recall for next month’s ICC World Twenty20 by insisting the door is firmly closed.
Pietersen was sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February 2014, although the hard-hitting former Surrey batsman appeared to be given encouragement by the then incoming chairman Colin Graves that an England recall was a possibility.
But just as the crescendo for his re-introduction to the England set-up was reaching a crescendo in May last year, newly-appointed director of cricket Andrew Strauss ruled out any notion of a comeback, citing “massive trust issues”.
The 35-year-old was in outstanding form in South Africa’s Ram Slam T20 and more recently Australia’s Big Bash League which had led to speculation of an unlikely recall, a concept which Morgan has refused to entertain.
“That door is completely shut. Kevin will not be picked. That’s from me,” said Morgan, who has led a revival of English one-day cricket since last year’s disastrous 50-over World Cup.
Four-time Ashes winner Pietersen replied by writing on Twitter: “Interesting he’s saying it’s HIS call! Very interesting! Hmmmmmm!"
Morgan’s England will bid to continue their limited-overs resurgence and seal victory in the five-match series when they face South Africa in the third one-day international in Centurion today. England hold a 2-0 series lead.