England's Pietersen dilemma October 3, 2012

Pietersen signs England contract


Kevin Pietersen has signed a four-month central contract with the ECB and will be "reintegrated" into the England team after a process of reconciliation has been completed. The announcement could pave the way for Pietersen to be included in England's touring squad to India, although that has not yet been decided on.

Andy Flower, the England coach, will determine when Pietersen will return fully to the fold, once the 32-year-old becomes available for selection. Pietersen said that he hopes to play for England again "as soon as possible" and committed himself to international cricket until the 2015 World Cup.

"It's been a horrible situation for all involved but it's time to move forward," Pietersen said. "All being well I'll be back in an England shirt as soon as possible.

"I am committed to completing the reintegration process we have agreed over the coming weeks and resuming my England career in all formats, hopefully until the World Cup in 2015, as long as my body allows. I want my son growing up seeing me playing for England and I hope one day he will put an England shirt on himself.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to my team-mates, all England supporters and the ECB for the situation that has arisen over the last couple of months. Thankfully we have drawn a line under it and can move forward. Although it has been covered in the statement, I'd like to make it clear that at no time did I share tactical information with any of the South Africans."

Giles Clarke, the ECB's chairman, said: "Kevin has signed a central contract today. Andy Flower will determine the progress of the reintegration process. It could be soon, it could be much later." He added that Pietersen's contract could be extended to the full year once the agreed process had been completed.

Clarke also expressed confidence that Flower, who has supported the hard line taken against Pietersen, will not be disillusioned by the attempts to begin afresh and predicted that he will remain as England's coach until at least the World Cup in 2015.

Pietersen was dropped from the side in August after sending what he admitted were "provocative" texts about the former England captain Andrew Strauss to members of the South Africa team. He was left out for the deciding Test of the series at Lord's, amid concerns about "trust and respect" within the England squad.

Pietersen later apologised to Strauss privately but was not included in England's squad for the World Twenty20, despite reversing his one-day retirement, or the Test party for India.

The ECB has now said, however, that it has received a "binding assurance" from Pietersen that the messages, which were actually sent via BlackBerry Messenger and have since been deleted, were not derogatory of Strauss and did not contain advice on how to get him out, as had been alleged.

An ECB statement said: "ECB and Kevin Pietersen confirm that agreement has been reached concerning a process for his reintegration into the England team during the remainder of 2012. Upon completion of the programme, the England selectors will consider Kevin for future matches.

"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. He now wishes to put the events of the summer behind him and to focus on regaining his place in the England Team.

"With regards the issue of the BBM messages, due to the fact that Kevin had not retained the BBM messages, this matter has been successfully concluded through a binding assurance provided to ECB by Kevin. Kevin conceded that the messages exchanged were provocative. 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, the ECB or employees of the ECB. Furthermore, there was no tactical information whatsoever provided to members of the South African touring party."

England begin their tour of India towards the end of October, with a four-Test series to be followed by two Twenty20 internationals. They will then return to India in January for an ODI series before departing for a tour of New Zealand in February.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on October 6, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    @JG2704. i would suggest that writing an autobiography in which you discuss a captain in less than glowing terms who happens to be your first and in only 2 Tests is having issues. I would suggest that being party to a parody twitter a/c is having issues( i know the main text says that he was cleared of complicity, but as it was by a friend of family or something I do not buy it,, especially as the a/c was in a flatmate's name. ie evidence is fairly srtiking.) and talking about him in columns of a Sunday paper is having issues. Re culpability on the field 635 for 2 is a certainly a glowing reference for the bowlers,,as is 420 whne asking SA to bat first. Did the bowlers even look like they were trying? and then Anderson went on catch dropping spree, begun off KP when he has hardly dropped a catch in his life, and these were child's play catches. UAE series is something else and was a didsaster. KP made 2 tons in ODI's though.

  • John on October 6, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    @Meety on (October 05 2012, 02:39 AM GMT) I'd say that all time 11 is very subjective indeed. People say KP is head above all the other English batsmen. In talent I'd probably agree and he is the one batsman because of his scoring rate who can take a game away from the opposition. However , the last time I looked at our player averages , both Bell and Cook were averaging within 2 or 3 runs of him and I believe both had been ahead of him in the last couple of years or so and Trott was a run ahead of him.

  • John on October 6, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    @maximum6 on (October 05 2012, 21:17 PM GMT) You would reintegrate KP because he is the only player who has had issues with other players in the side. And do you think that the SA series was just due to our bowlers performances? Seriously? I seem to remember on a dry flat track our batsmen being twice bowled out by SA and if we go back to UAE where our bowlers did enough to win 2 or the 3 tests our batsmen (which I believe KP was the 8th best or something like that) let us down.

  • Michael on October 5, 2012, 21:17 GMT

    @meety- Right on the money. KP is the English Viv. Who would not organise the team around such greatness except a bunch of sad malcontents who are jealous of this talent. Why reintegrate KP? reintegrate the others especially the attack which gave SA the recent series like it was Xmas.

  • John on October 5, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    @maddy20 on (October 05 2012, 08:03 AM GMT) May I just remind you that your brilliant side are out in the super 8s stage - exactly the same as England. The only difference is that England weren't expected to win after KPs omission. We weren't even supposed to qualify for the super 8s with our pathetic side and then had no chance of winning a game so I guess we've overachieved. Still at least Asia had reps in the semis from Pak and SL and SL in the final.

  • V.L on October 5, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    @Rogerunionjack Your "World's best batsmen" could not play out 20 overs against the so called "Club bowlers". You have been shown your place by a 5-0 drubbing in the ODI series in India. It is a prelude to the worst disaster in English Cricket in recent years. Forget 4-0, they will consider themselves insanely lucky if they manage to win or save 1 of the 4 tests!

  • richard on October 5, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    It should be a great dressing room to be in, cannot wait for the movie.

  • Andrew on October 5, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    @Hammond on (October 04 2012, 22:07 PM GMT) - FACT, KP has been selected by this website as a member of the ALL TIME ENGLAND XI. It was an extensive exercise. That means that KP is only up against Hobbs, Hutton, Hammond & Barrington as contenders for the best ever "English" batsmen. KP is comfortably the best England batsmen in the last FORTY years.

  • Mike on October 4, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    He may not be the best batsman in the world but he is in the top 5. And any other international side, apart from maybe SA obviously, WOULD include him. INDIA been the ones with their hands raised the highest ! And there is no such thing as CAN'T in sport, won't yes, CAN'T no.

  • Geoffrey on October 4, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @WishW- No way Sanga could have played that knock against Steyn & Morkel on a seaming English track. No way. And you didn't retract your comment about the greatest English batsman ever. Ever heard of Hutton, Barrington, Compton, Hobbs, May, Sutcliffe, Paynter?.. the list goes on..

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