GRAVES: KP MUST PLAY COUNTY CRICKET The incoming chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Colin Graves, has told Kevin Pietersen he has to play county cricket if he harbours any hopes of an England return.

The former Hasmpshire batsman has not played for England since a parting of the ways in the wake of the disastrous Ashes tour of 2013/14, but his name continues to cast a shadow over the side.

England's continued struggles in the short-form of the game prompt many to call for his return, even after the fall-out of his controversial autobiography which made several claims about the culture of the England dressing room.

Pietersen has maintained he would love to play for England again, although there is no suggestion from anyone involved in picking the England team that a return could happen.

Regardless, Graves says the South Africa-born batsman has to find himself a county team - he has left Surrey - if he wants to have any chance of a surprise return.

''The first thing he has to do if he wants to get back is start playing county cricket,'' Graves told BBC Radio 5's Sportsweek.

''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.''

Pushed for an answer on whether or not he would approve a Pietersen return, he added: ''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.''