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Pietersen wants to work towards England return

Kevin Pietersen is looking for a way back. Credit: PA

Batsman Kevin Pietersen says he will try to work out a way in which he can make a return to the England side.

The South African-born batsman tweeted after hearing the words of incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves, who said Pietersen would need to be playing county cricket to give him hope of coming back to the international set-up.

Pietersen needs to be playing county cricket - Graves

Kevin Pietersen is currently an outcast. Credit: PA

The incoming chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Colin Graves, says Kevin Pietersen needs to return to domestic cricket in England if he is to earn an international recall.

Pietersen has been out of the national set-up since 2013/14 Ashes tour, but has always claimed he is available for selection, but is repeatedly overlooked.

The first thing he has to do if he wants to get back is start playing county cricket.

The selectors and the coaches are not going to pick him if he's not playing, it's as simple as that. I'll leave it at that."

At the end of the day it's down to the selectors and coaches and what they feel is best for English cricket. They will make the decisions and I will support their decisions.

– Colin Graves speaking BBC Radio 5's Sportsweek.


England suffer third World Cup loss

Joe Root's century was in vain as England's bid to reach the World Cup quarter-finals suffered another setback with a nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in Wellington.

Root became England's youngest centurion at a World Cup, at the age of 24, as his career-best 121 from 108 balls helped his side post a formidable 309 for six.

England underwhelmed again. Credit: PA

But Sri Lanka comfortably reeled in a record chase at the Wellington Regional Stadium with 16 balls to spare, thanks to twin tons from Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara, to inflict yet more pain for England at the venue.

England suffered one of their worst-ever World Cup defeats at the ground nine days ago, when they were left humbled by New Zealand, and this latest reverse means they now have no room for error if they are to reach the knockout phase.

England must win their final two group games against lower-ranked Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the next fortnight or face the unthinkable prospect of going home prematurely.

India cruise to win over UAE at World Cup

India made light work of winning a third game at the Cricket World Cup, beating the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets in Perth.

MS Dhoni's men - fresh from their impressive win over South Africa last time out - were ruthless in their dismantling of the associate nation.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli eased India to the win. Credit: PA

A first ODI four-for from Ravichandran Ashwin (four for 25) helped them bowl out the UAE for 102 - the lowest score of the tournament so far - and then they rattled through their chase in less than 19 overs.

The only bump in the road in India's knock came when Shikhar Dhawan went in the seventh over for 14, Rohan Mustafa taking a fine catch at backward point off the bowling of Mohammad Naveed.

Around him, though, Rohit Sharma made 57 and Virat Kohli 33 in a stand of 75 as victory was secured with ease on the back of a solid bowling performance.

New Zealand creep over the line against Australia

New Zealand edged to a one-wicket victory over fellow World Cup co-hosts Australia to claim the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in a low-scoring thriller at Eden Park.

Left-arm pacemen Trent Boult (five for 27) of New Zealand and Australia's Mitchell Starc (six for 28) took career-best bowling figures in one-day internationals, but it was the Black Caps that just got over the line.

Trent Boult impressed. Credit: PA

They appeared set to make a statement of intent after Trent Boult took five wickets in 18 balls as Australia collapsed from 80 for one to 106 for nine, before being bowled out for 151 in 32.2 overs.

Several of their batsmen were guilty of poor shots, but Brendon McCullum once again thrived where others failed with a blistering half-century in New Zealand's reply.

While his dismissal prompted a wobble, New Zealand appeared to be coasting before they lost a rash of wickets, with Starc coming to the fore, but Kane Williamson (45 not out) smashed a six to get his side to their victory target with 26.5 overs to spare.

AB shines with 162 from 66 balls as South Africa thrash West Indies

AB was in fine form. Credit: Reuters

Another awe-inspiring batting display from AB de Villiers helped South Africa to a crushing 257-run World Cup Group B victory against West Indies in Sydney.

De Villiers needed only 31 balls against West Indies to record the fastest ever one-day international century in January, and tormented their bowlers once again by smashing an unbeaten 162 from 66 balls to help South Africa to 408 for five from their 50 overs - their highest-ever World Cup score.

Watch highlights of the match tonight on ITV4 at 10pm.


Kevin Pietersen supports England Twenty20 franchise

Kevin Pietersen has lauded the "brilliant" prospect of Twenty20 franchise cricket coming into the English game.

Pietersen wants a Twenty20 franchise in England. Credit: PA

The new England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, Colin Graves, will take up his position in May and has expressed enthusiasm for launching an English Premier League.

It could operate along the lines of the highly successful Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash, with county teams compounded into a smaller number of franchise sides, based in major cities.

Pietersen wrote on Twitter:

New @ECB_cricket chairman wants a T20 English franchise tournament! Absolutely brilliant! Forward thinking & brilliant for all players!

Better late than never! Good sign for future of English Cricket. I've been saying it for 6yrs! Just to wrong management!"

– Kevin Pietersen

Gayle inspires 73-run West Indies win over Zimbabwe

Chris Gayle rediscovered his mojo in spectacular fashion on Tuesday with the first ever World Cup double century to drive West Indies to a 73-run victory over Zimbabwe in their Pool B clash at Manuka Oval.

All hail Chris Gayle! Credit: Reuters

The opener's 215 was the highest individual innings in a World Cup match, the third highest in any one-day international, and formed the large part of a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels (133 not out), also an one-day record.

The dreadlocked 35-year-old slugged 16 sixes -- tying the one-day record -- as well as 10 fours in his 147-ball knock and even though he was dismissed with the last ball of the innings, West Indies were set fair at 372 for two. Zimbabwe had their run-chase trimmed to 363 from 48 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain briefly interrupted the contest and they initially made a good fist of it.

Brendan Taylor was unfortunate to be dismissed for 37 after a controversial third umpire referral and middle order batsmen Sean Williams (76) and Craig Ervine (52) also put in good shifts.

When Gayle (2-35) returned with the ball to dismiss Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri (19) with his off-spin, however, the writing was on the wall for Zimbabwe and they were all out for 289 in the 45th over.

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