Pietersen weighs future options

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IOL pic aug7 cricket kevin pietersen Reuters England batsman Kevin Pietersen (left) is interviewed after the second Test match against South Africa at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds.

Leeds - Kevin Pietersen put his England Test future in doubt on Monday, saying that he would announce his decision following the final Test match against South Africa later this month.

The 32-year-old batsman, named man of the match for his exhilarating 149 that helped England draw the second Test on Monday, said he was in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“I will talk after the next Test match,” Pietersen told reporters. “”It's tough being me, playing for England.”

“It's absolutely 100 percent not about money... There are clear things that I'm discussing. But there are other issues that need to be sorted. You'll find out soon enough. You're not going to find out tonight.”

He admitted that part of his discussions centre on his participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he has a lucrative contract with the Delhi Daredevils.

Asked if the Lord's Test could be his last, he said: “Anything's possible.”

“It would be a huge shame. I love playing Test cricket for England, but we'll see.

“For me, the saddest part about all this is that the spectators just love watching me play - and I love playing for England.”

Captain Andrew Strauss, whose side are 1-0 down in the three-match series, refused to answer questions on Pietersen's future.

“I hope the Kevin issue isn't going to be a distraction,” Strauss said. “The truth is we want as few distractions as possible in making sure we win this third Test match.”

“You want to take whatever is happening off the field in your private life or anywhere and put it to one side to concentrate on playing a Test match for England. I think we've got a great chance of winning that Test match.”

Pietersen, whose century in Leeds was his 21st in Tests, passed 7 000 Test runs on Saturday and only Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott have scored more Test centuries. - Reuters

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