Kevin Pietersen's chances of resuming his international career with his native South Africa appear unlikely after Faf du Plessis pointed out the veteran batsman is 'English'.
Pietersen has not played for England since the famously acrimonious breakdown of his relationship with management, and subsequent sacking, following the 2013/14 whitewash Ashes defeat.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has spelled out on many occasions in the intervening two years that he would not be welcomed back.
That position remained abundantly clear when England chose their squad for next month's ICC World Twenty20, and coach Trevor Bayliss remarked that the possibility of including Pietersen had not even been discussed.
The record-breaking batsman, who has been in outstanding form in Twenty20 franchise cricket this winter, was born in Pietermaritzburg but left South Africa 16 years ago and made his Test debut at the start of England's historic 2005 Ashes-winning campaign.
His friend, and former England bowler, Darren Gough this week raised the possibility that Pietersen could return to play for South Africa - but that prospect received short shrift from Du Plessis.
South Africa's Twenty20 captain said: "KP is a player who's had a great career for England.
"But certainly, from a South African perspective....he's English."
Pietersen has made no public comment about any intention of qualifying for South Africa.
To do so, the 35-year-old - who lives in the south of England - need do nothing other than remain unwanted by his adopted national team until 2018.
If South Africa have any interest in him at that point, he could conceivably be playing for them at the age of 39 at the 2019 World Cup - which is to be held in England.
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