New Delhi: Sacked batting star Kevin Pietersen still hopes to return to international cricket and become the first England player to score 10,000 Test runs, according to an interview published Thursday.
The 33-year-old Pietersen also insisted that former England skipper Andrew Strauss was a “good friend” despite their fallout over a text scandal, saying the episode was the biggest regret of his career.
Pietersen, who was axed in February after England’s disastrous tour to Australia, told the Indian Express newspaper that he had not given up hope of an international comeback.
“Yes, maybe I’ll still get to 10,000 (Test runs),” said the batsman, who scored 8,181 runs in 104 Tests after making his debut against Australia in 2005.
Pietersen is the fourth highest run scorer in England’s history and tops the list among current players.
Since Pietersen’s unceremonious dumping, England captain Alistair Cook has given his public backing to the decision by the England board which he called “a brave call”.
While his relationship with Cook appears to be beyond repair, Pietersen claimed to have patched up things with Strauss after sending disparaging texts about his then captain to the touring South Africans in 2012.
“Andrew Strauss is a great friend. I was just in a bad space,” said the South Africa-born star, who was speaking on a promotional visit to New Delhi.
“We were not having a great relationship at that time. It should never have come out, all that nonsense. That wasn’t a special time at all.”
In an interview earlier this week, Pietersen denied he had a bad relationship with team-mates, saying he was the first to help Jonathan Trott over his stress-related illness on the ill-fated Ashes tour.