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KP addresses 2019 World Cup rumours

Former England Test captain hasn't ruled out possibility of returning to international cricket with South Africa

Kevin Pietersen joked he could still play for England "left-handed and without pads" but the confident former Test skipper doesn't appear to be kidding about the prospect of representing his country of birth, South Africa, in the 2019 World Cup.

Pietersen made just four in Surrey's win over Middlesex at The Oval in the English T20 domestic competition overnight, running out Aaron Finch from the first ball he faced before calling for a runner himself in a performance that was quite the sideshow to the main event.

But equally, it was his pre-match conversation with former England teammate turned commentator Andrew Flintoff that set more tongues wagging.

Asked by Flintoff to address rumours he was targeting a return to international cricket with South Africa, Pietersen was non-committal, but certainly left the door open to the possibility.

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"Maybe, I don't know (if playing for South Africa is a reality)," the 37-year-old said.

"So many people say to me, 'The way you've played over the last three years, you should be playing international cricket'.

"Now if you have a look at the England set-up at the moment, could I bat in the top four? I reckon I could play in a few positions left-handed without pads on (laughs).

"I'm having a laugh, (but) could I bat in the order? Yes, I could.

"Am I going to? No, it's been kyboshed.

"So should I be playing international cricket? Why not?"

Pietersen last played for England in the 2013-14 Ashes, after which it became clear that, with his former captain Andrew Strauss as the country's new director of cricket, he would not be representing the Three Lions again.

The two had endured a testy relationship during their time together in the England set-up, with Pietersen sending text messages to South African opponents insulting Strauss during a series between the two teams in 2012.

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Since his international cricket exodus, Pietersen has excelled as a T20 gun for hire in domestic tournaments around the world, including with the Melbourne Stars in Australia's KFC Big Bash, in which he has been one of the competition's most consistent performers across the past three seasons.

On Wednesday, he made a match-winning 52 for Surrey in his first hit-out of the tournament, while later in the year he will play in South Africa's revamped T20 competition as one of eight marquee players.

Pietersen would be eligible to play for South Africa by 2019, ahead of the World Cup, and last week he refused to rule out suggestions he might be looking at that tournament for an international return.

"I'm going to be playing a lot of cricket in South Africa over the next two years, so we'll see," he said.

"I love batting: I will bat for as long as I love the art of batting.

"Who knows where I'll be in two years' time?

"If I enjoy batting, we'll see where I get to. I'm in a very happy place."