KP wants World T20 chance
Praise for Tino Best the 'entertainer'
Last Updated: 10/06/12 9:24pm
Kevin Pietersen has no regrets over his one-day international retirement, and still hopes to reach a Twenty20 compromise with England in time to help defend the World Cup.
He admits his controversial decision was a tough one, but he was immediately sure he had made the right call. "That was the point of the decision - the (packed) schedule," said Pietersen. "It's a difficult decision - you're giving up something, retiring.
"But waking up the next day, I was absolutely buzzing - no regrets."
Pietersen made 78 out of 221-5 to stave off any significant threat of defeat for England on day four of the third Investec Test at Edgbaston, after West Indies had piled up 426 on the back of an astounding last-wicket stand of 143 between number 11 Tino Best (95) and Denesh Ramdin (107no).
He therefore signed off with some satisfaction from England duties for the next month, in which they will face West Indies and then Australia in a series of limited-overs matches in his absence.
"I hope there's a compromise can be found. If they want me to play T20 World Cup I'll play it - but contracts are contracts. They'd have to change the rules to make that happen."
Kevin Pietersen Quotes of the week
As for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September, which will follow four Tests against his native South Africa, Pietersen still has not given up hope of a rethink from ECB - despite reports of vexed negotiations already.
"I hope there's a compromise can be found," he said. "If they want me to play T20 World Cup I'll play it - but contracts are contracts. They'd have to change the rules to make that happen."
Pietersen is convinced, however, that he is better off without 50-over cricket - irrespective of those five ODIs against Australia in the immediate future, or the World Cup Down Under in 2015.
"I made the decision because of the schedule. You can't carry on doing it all, playing every format - IPL, Champions League in October.
"Apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, I've played the most days over the last seven years.
"There comes a time when some format has to be taken out of my schedule - and ODI was it."
While England are playing against Australia this summer, Pietersen will be still on holiday at first - and then preparing for the Test series, with Surrey.
"There's not a chance I'll have mixed feelings about missing that," he said. "I'll be enjoying time off with my family. I've made the decision.
"If I wanted to play in those matches against Australia, I would have. I'm having a break until the beginning of July.
"I'm hitting balls throughout June because I need to keep myself in this nick - net as much as possible.
"But I'll go on breaks with the family and be back playing July 3 - three Twenty20s a championship game and a Test."
Pietersen hopes his remarks today will provide some breathing space on this matter for him, and his employers.
"I've moved on and don't want to talk about it, because it's done and dusted and unfair to this Test for me to create headlines talking about it.
Pietersen happy with form
"I went through it with the ECB. I finished with 50-over cricket, so T20 wasn't a part of that. I hope this will extend my Test career.
"I could do with hundreds. But the way I'm batting if I continue like that for rest of my career I'll go okay.
"I see T20 taking over from 50 over. It's fun; it's exciting; people come and watch it."
There were relatively few spectators today to enjoy either Pietersen's batting, or that of Best and Ramdin.
But there was no denying the value for those who saw the West Indies pair.
"Best is an entertainer. He played really well, came at us and hit the ball," Pietersen added.
Best hit the highest score by any number 11 in Test history, in an unheralded innings which even took his partner Ramdin by surprise.
"It was amazing," he said. "Tino came out and played some unbelievable shots.
"I didn't think he had all those shots in his armoury, but he went out there and expressed himself - that's the way Tino plays. It was funny. He kept saying 'keep going, big dog'.
"You go out there; you get the hundred - and then you bat with me to get my 50.
"I told him I would be there when he got his hundred, but unfortunately he got carried away."