Former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden believes it is “ludicrous” that Kevin Pietersen continues to be overlooked for England duty.
The 34-year-old has not played for the national side since last winter’s dismal tour of Australia and had his central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board terminated in February.
Pietersen has since expressed his firm desire to return to the England squad and did so again on Saturday following the appointment of Eoin Morgan as the one-day captain, after which he tweeted: “Great news that @Eoin16 is new England 1-day captain. Top player, leader and bloke. Hope I get to play for him.”
However, national selector James Whitaker said the door remains firmly shut to Pietersen, telling Sky Sports on Saturday: ‘’The ECB management made a decision on Kevin in January and it is the same.’’
Pietersen showed off his batting skills earlier this week with a 66 off 46 balls for Melbourne Stars in the opening match of the Big Bash League.
And Hayden has questioned the decision to freeze Pietersen out as England begin their preparations for a triangular series against Australia and India and the World Cup, which gets under way in February.
Hayden told BBC Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “I think it’s ludicrous that Kevin Pietersen isn’t in the England side, that’s just crazy.
“One thing that I really love about him in the Big Bash League is his innovation.
“World Cups are won on innovative batting and we’ve seen that progression in thinking in batsmen, particularly because of the T20 format of the game.
“They’ve had to be really innovative, they’ve had to create different shots, and bowlers have never caught up with it.”