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Pietersen still dreams of England

David Hopps | ESPNcricinfo
July 4, 2014 « Brits suffer defeat in mixed doubles | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Kevin Pietersen in the Lord's crowd for England's Test against Sri Lanka last month © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has expressed a vague ambition to make a comeback for England - less than a month after saying he was relieved to be out of the dressing room and was at peace with his international retirement.

Shunned by England, and his character assassinated in the process, he has now suggested - fleetingly at least - that he retains an appetite for the big stage that leaves him unable quite to accept that his England career is over.

Pietersen tweeted that he retained England ambitions as he prepared for the MCC Bicentenary celebration fixture against a Rest of the World side at Lord's on Saturday. One look at his shirt and cap, and the prospect of a sympathetic hand from a big crowd, was enough to get the juices flowing.

He has been well received south of the river when he has turned out for Surrey in front of a relatively young crowd in the NatWest Blast. It has yet to be seen what the more traditional upholders of the cricketing faith at Lord's will make of him.

"My space reserved in the Lord's dressing room," he tweeted. "Clothes ready! So excited about tomorrow. I didn't think I'd have this opportunity to play in front of a full house at Lord's again. I still do hope that things change and I play for England here again. Time will tell......."

Pietersen later expanded on his mood. He cannot look upon Lord's, where he made five England hundreds and easily imagine that he will not receive the adulation again. "I never give up," he said. "I'm only 34, I'm still young so hopefully one day I can play here in front of full houses but I just want to enjoy Saturday. I've got the hunger for it and the body's good so I want to go out there and do well."

Sachin Tendulkar captains the MCC side against a World XI led by Shane Warne.

Pietersen was soon surrounded by a gaggle of England cricket journalists, some of whom have been less than complimentary since he was ruled persona non grata after the Ashes tour by the new MD of England cricket, Paul Downton.

Just like the old days.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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