England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan quashed speculation that Kevin Pietersen might be recalled for the World Twenty20, saying “that door is completely shut” for the country’s leading run-scorer in all formats.
Pietersen has become a T20 specialist since his acrimonious departure from the England setup following the 2013-14 Ashes series, and the batsman has returned some impressive performances in the South African and Australian T20 leagues.
But speaking to British newspaper The Daily Mail from England’s tour of South Africa, Morgan said: “That door is completely shut. Kevin will not be picked. That’s from me.”
Morgan’s comments prompted a response on Twitter from Pietersen, who has regularly said he still wants to play for England.
“Interesting he’s saying it’s HIS call! Very interesting! Hmmmmm…!” Pietersen tweeted on Monday.
Pietersen was the second-highest runscorer in South Africa’s Ram Slam late last year, with 401 from just seven games at an average of 80.20. Quinton de Kock, the top runscorer, made 437 runs but played 11 games.
The 35-year-old Pietersen was the third-highest scorer in Australia’s Big Bash League. His teams made the final in both tournaments.
His success in the shortest format prompted suggestions England might re-think its position with Pietersen and consider recalling him. Morgan said it would not happen.
England appears to have moved on from Pietersen anyway, sealing a 2-1 Test series win in South Africa last month for its first series victory over the South Africans in more than a decade. The ODI team is looking good in South Africa, too, with a 2-0 lead in the five-match series ahead of the third game on Tuesday.
The World T20 in India starts on March 8. England is in a group with defending champion Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies and a fifth team that’s still to qualify.