England news July 15, 2012

Flower unmoved on Pietersen stance


A return to one-day internationals for Kevin Pietersen appears unlikely which means his ambitions to play in the World Twenty20 will continue to be scuppered with Andy Flower, the England team director, sticking to his original stance on the issue.

Over the week Pietersen has said he wants to play "three or four" more years in all international formats providing a schedule he is happy with can be negotiated with the ECB. Initial meetings have taken place with the board, but they do not want to be in the situation where a senior player is seen to be picking and choosing when he plays on his own accord.

Pietersen continues to believe the demands placed on him if he plays all three formats are far too great. However, claims that "I've never been looked after" appear a little wide of the mark given the security that comes with central contracts and the support he has had when injured.

Pietersen's retirement from ODIs meant he became ineligible for Twenty20 international selection as the ECB central contracts stipulate players have to be available for both formats. England need to submit a 30-man World Twenty20 squad to the ICC by Wednesday so time is running out for the situation to be resolved in Pietersen's favour.

Flower, a man of principle who counts loyalty as a major factor, does not see a way back for Pietersen. "As things stand at the moment, no, there isn't,"he told the Mail on Sunday.

"The situation is the same as it was when he first approached us. The ECB are determined to protect all three formats of the game and part of that is not setting a precedent of allowing players to retire from one-day cricket alone.

"The intent behind it is that we are serving English cricket in its entirety," Flower added. "We have to take personalities out of the equation. We all are lucky enough to have the choice about what we do. There are many people in this world that aren't lucky enough to have a choice. Here we're talking about a sporting situation and we all have our choices. I don't have to sign a contract with the ECB if I don't want to."

In the week leading towards the start of a major Test series against South Africa, which will determine the No. 1 ranking, Pietersen's stance has created a talking point that Flower wishes was not around.

"Situations like these make it a little more complicated," he said. "It doesn't mean that they can't work but it does make it a little more complicated. And I tell you one thing, none of us can afford for these types of issues to be distractions."

Geoff Miller, the national selector who is in charge of putting together the preliminary World Twenty20 squad, said if Pietersen was fully committed to 50- and 20-over cricket he would be welcomed back in the team but his name had not been involved in recent selection discussions. "My job is to pick players who are available," he said.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • K on July 17, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    The main subject here may be Kelve, a distraction will be Bopara during the series. He is certainly a test-class…against any weak attack. But ECB will unfairly expose him to SA attack, (much like exposing him to England attack itself!) After this series, he'll be "rested" or "rotated" and it'll be Morgan who will thrash the next weak opposition. Not that the latter is of test-quality against the best attacks either! The brazen fact is despite all claims to the contrary, England have a vacancy at №6. Remember Punter's claim that the Oz rebuilding was complete?

  • david on July 17, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    randy/joneys think yourselves lucky that the Australian cricketing season is not say jan to may then look for the exodus of the aussie cricketers

  • Anupam on July 17, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    @randyOz you can see the posts since ashes even more than other fans advocating khawaja rather than Oz and also they know nothing about khawaja but they still advocating khawaja.

  • Anupam on July 17, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @ RandyOZ on (July 17 2012, 09:34 AM GMT) i'm very much AGREE with you. eng team is a mixture of opportunist who migrate to their country. believe it ot not but IF bopara, panesar, solanki, ramprakash play for eng then INDIANs are more happier than POMS believe me because they know they are our players.

  • Valavan on July 17, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    @Jatin, how did you miss the T20 played between India and England in Kolkata in 2011. When you remember the ODIs England lost in India, so convinently forgot the ONE T20 India lost last year under SWANNs captaincy. wake up mate INDIA is now the LION at HOME, LAMBS away situation.cricinfo please publish.

  • John on July 17, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @fr0nt-foot_lunge on (July 16 2012, 12:35 PM GMT) re "We'll be back to copying the Aussie set up, like we did last time, to see how they manage their star players " - Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the Aus players who were going home injured during their recent 4-0 defeat to England? Why would we copy them?

  • John on July 17, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    @Swerver on (July 16 2012, 14:16 PM GMT) apparently he did talk to ECB re this and they've been ongoing for a while. As I said earlier , I don't have a problem with him retiring and I don't have a problem with him returning either but I don't like the way he is returning and still having little digs about being badly managed etc. Either play unconditionally and enjoy it or stay retired. I wonder if Flower might be waiting for KP to retract some of the stuff he has said before considering playing him?

  • Mike on July 17, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Protecting the integrity of Test cricket and the English domestic season is more important than a T20 WC, and a lot more important than one player, no matter how good he is.

    KP's stance is all about IPL, something very few people in England care about. We just don't want to see a load of second rate Australians bash around dire medium pace bowlers on a flat track. The recent WI and Australian series showed just how poor those kind of players are on a decent track, and we're desperately hoping the Saffers are as good as they think they are in order to get a good series.

  • Randolph on July 17, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    The problem facing flower is half of his team only play for money, because they aren't actually english. It's hard to motivate people when they have no connection or pride for the country they are representing. You have to feel sorry for the guy.

  • Oliver on July 17, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Well, it's official now: KP (according to Test Match Special) wants the whole IPL window off, which would mean missing 2 tests against NZ just before the Ashes. It's not about being "looked after", it's about the size of his wallet. I was in two minds about the validity of his stance, but not any more - it's clearly pure greed. ECB should tell him where to go.

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