Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen has not played for England since being cut from the team in January 2014. Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen has pledged to work to find an agreeable solution to his England future after being handed encouragement over a potential return to the international setup by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

Pietersen's international career ground to a halt in January 2014 after he was told he was no longer required and his relationship with the ECB and several other senior England figures deteriorated rapidly in October 2014 after the release of his controversial autobiography, in which the 34-year-old was hugely critical of the governing body and spoke of a culture of bullying in the dressing room.

Over the weekend, however, Graves appeared to leave the door ajar to a possible comeback by dismissing talk of personalities and stating that the maverick batsman, who was released by Surrey last year and has since travelled the globe to play in various T20 tournaments, must return to county cricket if he hopes to earn selection.

"The first thing he's got to do if he wants to get back is play county cricket for somebody," said Graves. "It's down to the selectors, down to the coaches, of what they see, what is best for English cricket. They will make the decisions and I will support them when it comes to that decision. Forget personalities. Selectors pick the best players in form, taking wickets and scoring runs. That is their job."

Pietersen, who has always insisted that he would love to play for England again in the future despite the furore caused by his book, appeared to respond warmly to Graves' comments both in the media and via his popular Twitter account and reinforced his commitment to working things out whilst thanking his many followers for their support.


However, while Graves' words appeared to hint at the possibility of a fresh start for Pietersen, a subsequent ECB statement insisted that their approach to the player had not changed.

A spokesman said: "Colin Graves is correct. Nothing has changed. Only players who are playing consistent high-quality county cricket and who are seen as a positive influence will be selected."

Just as Pietersen's future looks to remain uncertain, England's World Cup hopes were dealt yet another sizeable blow over the weekend after an emphatic nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka left Eoin Morgan's side needing to register victories over Afghanistan and Bangladesh in order to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

A stunning 121 from Yorkshire's Joe Root had looked to set England on their way to banishing their demons at the Cake Tin, yet Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara made short work of a desperately lacklustre bowling attack.

Pietersen will represent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the forthcoming Indian Premier League.