The spectre of Kevin Pietersen is once again looming over England after Alec Stewart said he was “hungry for runs” in the County Championship in order to get himself back into the England set-up.
Until the appointment of former Yorkshire cricket chief Colin Graces as the new top man at the ECB there was no chance of seeing the controversial South African-born batsman in an England shirt again.
Graves changed all that and made it clear that the door was not completely shut on a Pietersen return if he were to make a stack of runs at county level, despite what is said by officials lower down the ECB pecking order.
The 34-year-old has now rejoined Surrey for the 2015 season in a bid to get the domestic runs which could see him return to the national side in time for the Ashes this summer.
Surrey director of cricket Stewart says if he scores enough runs he will ask question of the England selectors.
Pietersen was sacked by the ECB in the fall-out following the 5-0 Ashes whitewash by Australia and, following the release of his controversial book, there appeared to be no way back.
But England have been so poor since that loss that there is a growing call for him to return, even though it may only come if there is a significant change in personnel at the ECB and the team itself.
Coach Peter Moores and captain Alastair Cook are unlikely to welcome Pietersen back with open arms and one or both may have to be removed beforehand.
England next take on the West Indies in a Test series and are 1.50 to come out on top.