Kevin Pietersen: England return unlikely, says Matthew Hoggard
Kevin Pietersen has little chance of making an England comeback, says former team-mate Matthew Hoggard.
According to Hoggard, Pietersen, 34, is now "too far removed" from the side after his international career was ended in February 2014.
Hoggard also criticised incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) boss Colin Graves for opening the door to a possible Pietersen return.
"It's a fairly careless statement from the new chairman," said Hoggard.
"It makes stories at a time where England don't need any more bad press. It's an extraordinary statement at an extraordinary time."
With England losing three of their first four World Cup matches in New Zealand and Australia, talk of a Pietersen return has irritated bowler Stuart Broad.
"The timing is not ideal for us," said the England paceman, whose side play Bangladesh in a must-win game on Monday.
"We all need to be focused on how we are going to win on Monday. We don't want external influences breaking into our group."
Pietersen, who won 104 Test caps and averaged 47.28 with the bat, was excluded from the England set-up after the 2013-14 Ashes series, which Australia won 5-0.
But Yorkshire chairman Graves, who takes up his ECB post in May, suggested the South African-born batsman might be considered for England duty again if he scored a lot of runs in county cricket.
As it stands, Pietersen is without a county and is scheduled to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in April and May.
Pietersen said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the remarks of Graves and said he would "work" on a possible return.
However, Hoggard, who took 248 wickets in 67 Tests, thinks the chances of a comeback are slim.
"I don't think he has even half a chance of coming back," said the former England and Yorkshire bowler, who was an Ashes winner alongside Pietersen in 2005.
"I think 'KP' is too far removed from this side, with too much water under the bridge for him to come back."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said the public clamour for a Pietersen return will "get very loud" if England continue to play poorly and the former Surrey player is scoring runs.
But he has challenged Pietersen to "prove" he wants to play for his country again by turning his back on his lucrative IPL contract to play county cricket in the "freezing cold" at Derby.
Pietersen scored 8,181 runs in Tests for England. He has also scored 4,440 runs in 136 one-day internationals at 40.73, as well as 1,176 runs in 37 Twenty20s, averaging 37.93.
But former England captain Nasser Hussain told the Daily Mail that Pietersen was "not the player he once was", adding: "If he was 24, rather than 34, you might give him another go."