Pietersen wants to win back Ashes
11:39pm Monday 6th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Kevin Pietersen has brushed off rumours of retirement and has signalled his intention to help England regain the Ashes next year.
The future of the talented, yet enigmatic, batsman has been a key topic of conversation since Alastair Cook's men relinquished the urn following a humiliating 5-0 defeat down under.
At 33 years of age and with doubts over his long-term fitness due to a chronic knee problem persisting, there have been several reports hinting that Pietersen was set to announce his retirement in the near future.
Yet Pietersen has, on numerous occasions, expressed his goal to register 10,000 Test runs - he currently has 8,181 - and has once again committed himself to England for the 2015 Ashes series.
"Very disappointed to lose 5-0, and not to score more runs personally. Tough tour against a top class team. #Ashes," he said on Twitter.
"I want to thank all the England fans for their terrific support. And I'm determined to help regain the Ashes in 2015."
While Pietersen was England's highest run scorer against Australia, his contribution of 294 in 10 innings meant he had an average of under 30 compared with a career average of 47.28.
The manner of some of his dismissals led to criticism from all quarters, with former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott particularly scathing in his role as a summariser for the BBC's Test Match Special service.
Boycott's colleague and former England captain Michael Vaughan has defended Pietersen although he fears the Surrey man may be made a scapegoat for the Ashes catastrophe.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Vaughan, who was captain when Pietersen made his England debut in the 2005 Ashes series, said: "Alastair Cook needs to use Pietersen properly and ask him how he sees his own future, and his view on the style of cricket the team have to play to become number one in the world again.
"I fear England will not do that and decide to get rid of Pietersen. That would be a sad loss for English cricket, the game cannot afford for that to happen.
"He is too good a player. The team will be dull without him. Okay, you have to have the right characters in the dressing room. But if you cannot manage someone such as KP then you are not doing your job properly.
"It would be a huge loss if this England management cannot get two more years out of Pietersen and let him lead them to playing the brand of cricket we want to see. I guarantee if they give Pietersen responsibility they will win more games, win them quicker and gain new fans."