Pietersen set to meet Strauss

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Cricket:Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for a first-ball duck on his return to competitive cricket today. Pietersen lined up for Surrey against former side Hampshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40, his first outing since being left out of England's third Investec Test against South Africa at Lord's.

All eyes were on the 32-year-old at the Ageas Bowl and he came in to a mixed reception after opener Rory Hamilton-Brown was dismissed by Liam Dawson in the fifth over.

Pietersen has shown a weakness against slow left-armers in the past and it was to prove his undoing once more as he was bowled pushing forward to Dawson off his first delivery.

A great cheer rang around the ground following the dismissal, although that may have had more to do with his acrimonious departure from Hampshire in 2010.

Pietersen has been involved in a stand-off with the England and Wales Cricket Board. He initially retired from limited-overs cricket and hinted at qutting the Test arena too before performing a U-turn and announcing he wanted to play in all formats for his adopted country.

However, he still faces questions over text messages he sent to members of the South African team during the second Test at Headingley.

It was reported today one of the texts described England captain Andrew Strauss in offensive terms and that he also offered advice to the South Africans on how to dismiss the skipper.

Press Association Sport understands Pietersen and Strauss will meet following the conclusion of the third Test at Lord's.

Pietersen's camp would not comment on the content of the texts this morning, but former England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Lord MacLaurin said he fears the former Nottinghamshire batsman could have played his final game for England if the reports are proven to be accurate.

Pietersen has apologised to England for the texts but has not divulged their specific content, and it is thought his international career will remain on hold until negotiations with the ECB are concluded.

MacLaurin, chairman of the ECB for six years from 1997, feels that if the allegations are proven, then Pietersen's England career is over.

He told Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I think the Kevin Pietersen thing is pretty sad and pretty serious for cricket, the ECB are capable of dealing with the matter as they see fit.

"Nobody is bigger than the game and history is littered with sports stars who believe they are bigger than the game and business people too.

"They usually end up halfway down the batting order.

"If the reports in the papers are true.....I think Mr Pietersen will never play for England again."

MacLaurin also pointed to Pietersen's apparent lack of popularity during his county career in England as well as with the national team.

He said: "If you look at the record of the gentleman concerned he hasn't been greatly loved at Hampshire, at Nottinghamshire or at Surrey or in the England dressing room."

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