Only then will there be a way back into the fold for the prodigal batsman, who has risked his international career — if not necessarily his million-dollar livelihood - in a summer of discontent with his employers.
He will be employed by broadcasters as an expert pundit from studios in Colombo — a guise in which, incidentally, he showed considerable promise on debut yesterday evening.
Pietersen played an unaccustomed straight bat in his opening exchanges, before the first match of the tournament got under way between hosts Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. “Clearly, I’d love to be playing. But that’s not to be,” he told Star Cricket.
“So the next best thing is to be sitting here in the commentary box.
“I’m really looking forward to the next three weeks,” he added.