St. Lucia (West Indies), Mar 31: England batsman Kevin Pietersen's international career has probably hit a major roadblock, and speculation is rife that he may be sacked if he persists with his self-centered attitude.
Pietersen is officially on record as saying that all he wants to do is go home.
There is no doubt that he is still England's best batsman, and remains committed to the cause. When he left the field during the fourth one-day international against West Indies complaining of a back spasm there was not sympathy but scepticism. According to The Independent, one text message from England seeking information summed it up: "Injured or petulance?"
That he departed while bowling at Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a man whom he had illogically criticized for frequently failing to take the field and not being a team player, multiplied the incredulity.
It has come to this because Pietersen has simply protested too much. For weeks it has become increasingly apparent that he is not a happy soul and that being deposed as England captain in such controversial circumstances in Jan has been eating away at his soul.
Last week, Pietersen told a newspaper: "I'm at the end of my tether now. I can't wait to get back home."
Pietersen has not been miserable, or at least not in public, but he has been plainly aloof. And he said in his column in the News of the World on Sunday, Mar 29 that the England squad was 'a lonely place to be'.
There can be little doubt that Pietersen is in turmoil and that many of his colleagues in the England team have had enough of him.
There is a general weariness with a self-centred approach that has strayed into self-pity.
If Pietersen wishes to stay part of the team he must change. His runs, his class and his dedication to batting will, on paper, guarantee him a place for as long as he wants but his presence is becoming a tedious sideshow.