KP needs more than Downton sacking to make England return

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For many, the news that the ECB had sacked managing director Paul Downton for their embarrassing display at the World Cup was the first step on the way to seeing Kevin Pietersen in an England shirt again.

The new suits at Lord’s, predominantly the chief executive Tom Harrison, made the job title of managing director defunct along with Downton in the first change since Eoin Morgan’s side crashed out of the 50-over tournament at the first obstacle.

It was the former England wicketkeeper who took the decision to sack Pietersen after the infamous 5-0 Ashes drubbing last winter, and will forever be remembered as the bumbling Grim Reaper in that poisonous affair.

Naturally, his removal points at a brighter future for the South African-born batsman, who has forgone a season in the IPL to play county cricket with Surrey in a bid for re-selection.

But, as The Daily Telegraph journalist Derek Pringle tweeted following the news of Dowton’s sacking, the path is far from clear if Pietersen is to return to the international fold:

National selector James Whittaker, who has been as staunch in his refusal to budge on the KP dilemma, still remains in his position, although it is thought his head is the next to grace the chopping block.

Beyond those non-playing obstacles, Pietersen still has Peter Moores, the coach he relinquished the England captaincy over, Alastair Cook and, to a loose extent, Andy Flower to contend with should he make a comeback.

Moores doesn’t look to be at risk of the sack despite the World Cup debacle, but will surely see a greater benefit to his job security in having the best international batsman the country has ever seen in his side.

Cook remains uneasy over a reunion but is now only involved in leading the Test side, while Flower’s fingerprints now cover less of the England side than they did during the Ashes.

Beyond all that, Pietersen must still prove his worth with runs for Surrey in the Championship and the England side, 8/15 to win the Test series with West Indies, must prove they need him.

But, if this straight-bat tweet on the subject of Downton’s removal is anything to go by, he is up for the challenge.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.