|Kevin Pietersen insists he had no option but to retire from one-day internationals - to make sure he does not "fall out of love" with cricket altogether. England's mercurial batsman will play no part in the forthcoming month of limited-overs cricket against West Indies and Australia, any more future 50-over fixtures - including the 2015 World Cup - or, as it stands, his adopted country's defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka. Pietersen still harbours hope of a compromise between him and his employers, who pointed out his contract does not allow him to pick and choose formats, so that he can return to Twenty20 at some point.
That does not mean, though, that he has any regrets about his controversial decision last week to call time on his ODI career. "It's a shame I have to make the decision, but that's the schedule we've got," he said last night, after making 78 for England on day four at Edgbaston where the third Investec Test against the Windies moved ever closer to a draw.
"If I played for another country, there are chances to be rested for a month or two maybe. "But you don't get that playing for England, so I had to make a decision on it - and you know what it is. "I can't play at my peak and in every single game and enjoy it when I play all forms, train every day - you fall out of love with it." He hopes the break he will take after the end of the Test series today, and others in future, will allow him to play five-day cricket for another four years at least.
"I want to play until I'm 35," he said, adding he has no intention at present of adding Australia's high-profile domestic competition to a Twenty20 porfolio which already includes the Indian Premier League and Surrey in this country. "I'm not playing Big Bash," he said.
As for a Test which was lit up yesterday morning by an astounding last-wicket stand of 143 between Denesh Ramdin (107no) and record-breaking number 11 Tino Best (95), Pietersen is in accordance with most that a draw is by far the likeliest outcome. "It looks like a stalemate now. "I can't see them taking another 15 wickets, with rain around.
"But cricket is a funny game - you never know." There was minor controversy yesterday when umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Tony Hill allowed bad light to take another eight overs out of a contest which suffered successive washouts on the first two days. "The umpires make those decisions - but as a batter, it's fairly hard at 90mph around your ears," said Pietersen.
"I know they've changed the rules to get a prolonged period of play. "But it's fairly difficult around your ears at 90 in conditions you shouldn't be playing in."
As the players twice made their way off the ground, with floodlights in operation and cloud cover only partial, some in a dwindling crowd made their displeasure clear.
"You get some stick from crowds occasionally," said Pietersen.