NEWS that Kevin Pietersen could once again play cricket for England will certainly divide opinion.

Here we have a player who 12 months ago was sacked in the wake of the 2013 Ashes debacle and effectively left on the international scrapheap.

His controversial autobiography, in which he was critical of colleagues, had done him few favours and while he claimed he had been made a scapegoat for the drubbing Down Under, it appeared there was no way back.

Yet, his talent is undeniable and there is no escaping the fact that his departure was due to a clash of personalities rather than anything to do with his cricket ability.

Few could argue he isn’t one of the top English batsmen. Lucrative contracts with the IPL and CPL are testament to that.

England need their best players and Pietersen is one of them. The very fact his name is being bandied about suggest the ECB know that, too.

When Pietersen was sacked at the start of 2014, the ECB said they wanted to create a culture of trust within the squad.

Significantly, they also said the team needed to rebuild following the Ashes whitewash in Australia.

Patently, that hasn’t happened and three comprehensive defeats in four World Cup matches, the latest being a nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka, is proof. With the exception of Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen Ali, and brief cameos from Joe Root and Ian Bell, there has been little to cheer about England’s exploits.

Some might see a Pietersen recall as a return to the past — but the future doesn’t exactly look brilliant.

From being in the international wilderness, he could now be set for a dramatic Ashes comeback this summer.