Pietersen has not played for England since the end of the heavy 2013-14 Ashes defeat in Australia, after which there was an acrimonious parting of the ways.
But England’s struggles in the shorter forms of the game – defeat by Sri Lanka on Sunday made it three from four at the World Cup – have led to calls for him to be brought back from the wilderness.
Pietersen has always maintained he would love to play for England again despite the fall-out from his controversial autobiography which made claims about the damaging culture inside the team’s dressing room.
But Graves, who will take over from Giles Clarke in May, says the first move has to be for Pietersen to play domestic cricket – he has left Surrey and will spend the first part of the 2015 season playing in the Indian Premier League for Sunrisers Hyderabad,
“The first thing he has to do if he wants to get back is start playing county??cricket,” Graves told BBC Radio 5’s Sportsweek.
“The selectors and the coaches are not going to pick him if he’s not playing,??it’s as simple as that. I’ll leave it at that.”
Pushed for an answer on whether or not he would approve a Pietersen return, he??added: “At the end of the day it’s down to the selectors and coaches and what??they feel is best for English cricket. They will make the decisions and I will??support their decisions.”