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Cork calls for KP resolution
3:09pm Wednesday 8th August 2012 in Sport
The South Africa-born batsman said on Monday night that he could not give any assurances that the match at Lord's might be his last Test appearance, citing several "obstacles" that had to be overcome to ensure he would continue in the longest form of the game.
Sources close to Pietersen said today that concern over the fake Twitter account KP Genius, which parodies the player, is not the major issue that needs to be resolved when it comes to deciding his international future, with the player understood to be keen to play an entire Indian Premier League campaign in 2013.
Former England and Hampshire all-rounder Cork, who captained the 32-year-old once for Hampshire, said: "The ECB, (national selector) Geoff Miller, (captain) Andrew Strauss and (team director) Andy Flower have got to sit down and decide what is the best for the England cricket team.
"They have got to make a decision. They need to sit Kevin down and say 'if you want to retire, you need to do it before we select the side for the third Test'.
"They have to say 'if you feel isolated and the team isn't with you, then we have to sort it out one way or the other'.
"They have to say 'you either play, we get the players together, knock your heads together and get on with the game' or they say 'who is the next best player to put in Kevin's place?'"
Cork added: "Whether it's down to the ECB, selectors or Pietersen, obviously the relationships between those three are broken down.
"When a player after a Test says he is lonely and there are issues in the dressing room, it has to be addressed. You cannot push this under the carpet."
Pietersen is understood to be "annoyed" by some of the tweets posted on the KP Genius Twitter account, which are meant to be read as though written by Pietersen himself and often talk about what a great cricketer he is.
But the main sticking point remains the level of commitment Pietersen is prepared to give in the future to his adopted country and whether any compromise can be reached.
It is understood Pietersen wants to play a full season in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils which would earn him in excess of £1million.
The terms of his central contract - the current one runs out next month - do not permit that and there has been speculation as to whether Pietersen will sign a new one.
A source close to Pietersen said: "If people think Kevin won't sign an England contract because someone has set up a fake Twitter account...Come on, do you really believe that? I don't think so."
But Cork has little sympathy for Pietersen if he is feeling upset over the Twitter issue.
He said: "There are rumours that it is someone in that dressing room because some of the things coming out are far too close to the truth.
"Maybe this is affecting Kevin. Maybe he has got to the point where he does feel isolated. But is that anyone else's fault? In my opinion, no.
"He has set himself up for it. He is that sort of character and when you are larger than life, you have to take some of the criticism that is levelled at you. He craves people's attention.
"He is now in the position where he has got a decision to make. Does he stay and play Test cricket or does he walk away from the game? It's a big decision."
There are no talks planned between Pietersen and the ECB at this stage, with the source adding: "There is no air-clearing required. There is nothing planned but that can change in five minutes.
"Everyone is trying to make a massive issue out of things, asking 'are there meetings planned here and there?'. There is no timetable for this at all.
"People have their opinions on what they think is right or wrong. That is just the way it is.
"Kevin is preparing for an important Test match. Nothing changes there."
Angus Porter, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, believes Pietersen may not be able to solve his differences with the ECB.
"I can't see any immediate prospect of a rapprochement. He's likely to play next week but it becomes an issue with the next contracts in September," Porter told the Independent.