ECB and Pietersen shake hands, future unclear


The reconciliation has harboured hopes of Kevin Pietersen's comeback to the England team. © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen’s long-drawn battle with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could be over after an agreement was reached between the two over his reintegration into the England set-up.

“The ECB and Kevin Pietersen confirm that agreement has been reached concerning a process for his re-integration into the England team during the remainder of 2012,” said an ECB statement. “Upon completion of the programme, the England selectors will consider Kevin for future matches.”

Pietersen was cast into international exile in August after sending derogatory text messages to touring South Africa players that contained criticism of Andrew Strauss, the then England captain, and Andy Flower, the team coach, during the Test series. “Kevin Pietersen has apologised to Andrew Strauss and wishes to express to all those who support England his regrets at the impact the recent controversies have had on the England Team,” said the statement. “He now wishes to put the events of the summer behind him and to focus on regaining his place in the England team.”

He was left out of the England World Twenty20 squad, after announcing his retirement from limited-overs internationals. Pietersen later backtracked and made himself available for selection. The England selectors delayed naming the squad for the ICC World Twenty20 on the backdrop of his decision, but eventually left him out after there were concerns over harmony within the team in the wake of the row.

“Kevin conceded that the messages exchanged were provocative. The ECB is satisfied, following receipt of this binding assurance, that to the best of his recollection, Kevin did not convey any messages which were derogatory about the England captain, the England team director (Andy Flower), the ECB or employees of the ECB. Furthermore, there was no tactical information whatsoever provided to members of the South African touring party,” said the statement.

It is still unclear if Pietersen, who is in Sri Lanka working as a studio expert for ESPN-Star Sports for the World Twenty20, will return for the the four-Test series against India starting November 15.


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