Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images (File Photo)
Kevin Pietersen © Getty Images (File Photo)

London: Kevin Pietersen hit his first county championship century in almost two years on Monday to boost his hopes of an England recall. Exiled batsman Pietersen completed his 50th first-class hundred, from 153 balls, in the final over before lunch on day two of Surrey‘s Division Two match against Leicestershire at The Oval.

The 34-year-old South African-born batsman had not reached three figures in a recognised match since Old Trafford in 2013. Pietersen’s hopes of a recall remain with the England and Wales Cricket Board‘s (ECB) new director of cricket Andrew Strauss, who was appointed at the weekend before the ousting of former coach Peter Moores. His former Test captain Strauss will hold his first press conference on Tuesday, before announcing the Test squad to face New Zealand at Lord’s next week. Pietersen has been cast adrift from England’s plans since he was sacked from all apparent future plans in the aftermath of their 2013-14 Ashes whitewash defeat. Nasser Hussain happy with Andrew Strauss’s appointment as ECB Director; asks for more clarity on Kevin Pietersen’s future

But incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves provided renewed hope that the batsman could yet return when he hinted in March that runs for Surrey this summer could provide the pathway he needs. Pietersen responded by agreeing a new contract with the county, and in his fifth championship innings of the summer he duly reached three figures again. Andrew Strauss to decide on next England coach: Colin Graves

He sought to diminish the significance of Monday’s innings, before taking the field on 35 not out overnight, when he told one of his Twitter followers he did not expect it to have a decisive bearing on his England return.

 

At the suggestion it could be “the most important innings of your life”, Pietersen posted: “Ha! Seriously? Not sure my career can be decided on one innings on a Mon in London…we get judged on Ashes series'”. Kevin Pietersen warns Andrew Strauss to restore public confidence following treacherous 15 months