Kevin Pietersen will not be recalled by England despite scoring an unbeaten 355 for Surrey. The controversial right-hander made the first triple century of his career to offer a timely reminder of his talents to new England cricket director Andrew Strauss. But after the pair met on 11 May, Pietersen was told he will not be recalled to the England side.
Pietersen, sacked by England in 2014, batted for over seven hours against Leicestershire at the Oval. "I'm desperate to play for England again, I want to play for England again and I want to play for England again soon," the South-African born batsman told reporters.
"That's probably one of the best innings that I've ever played. Not just numbers but because of how important the timing is, of what's happening in English cricket at the moment, and how I've said I've always had I have this burning desire to play for England again.
"Today all I was interested in was trying to bat all day, trying to score runs. Runs is the best currency at the moment, it's all I can do. The chairman-elect said to me 'you get a county, you score runs, that's what you need to do', and that's all I want to do, I just want to score runs."
It was Pietersen's 50th first-class ton and his first county championship hundred for nearly two years.
Pietersen sacking after Ashes
Pietersen was sacked by England in February 2014 following the team's 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia after being accused of being a divisive character in the squad.
But the 34-year-old said the only thing that mattered was what the players produced on the field.
"I think the public just wants to see an England team winning, an England team that goes onto the field and competes, I think we've seen that over the last 13, 14, 15 months," he said.
"Personal differences between personalities has got nothing to do with what the public wants, the public wants to see England cricket winning. I feel I can add to the England team doing well this summer."
Pietersen met with former England captain Strauss, who has had his own problems with the controversial right-hander, and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison on Monday evening.
"He's a good man, I've always said Strauss is a good man. We may have had our differences for a little while but I've always said that he's a good guy," Pietersen said before the meeting.
England's leading run scorer in all forms of international cricket was dropped after sending text messages about his skipper Strauss to South Africa players during a test series in 2012.
Strauss had to apologise in 2014 after using an offensive term to describe Pietersen while working as a television commentator. He had not been aware his comments could be heard live on air.
The new director of cricket must appoint a new England coach following the dismissal of Peter Moores on 9 May, with the first Ashes test against Australia starting on 8 July.
Pietersen may have been encouraged by the departure of Moores, with whom he had a fractious relationship, but he knew he also had bridges to build with Strauss.