England news September 7, 2012

Pietersen not awarded central contract


Kevin Pietersen is notable by his absence from the list of players awarded central contracts for the 2012-13 season by the ECB.

Pietersen has been left out of the England team since the Leeds Test against South Africa following the revelation that he sent messages containing derogatory remarks about the England captain, Andrew Strauss, to members of the South Africa touring squad. It later emerged that Pietersen's relationship with several members of the England squad had deteriorated to an unhealthy level.

In releasing a statement containing the names of the ten centrally contracted players, the ECB said: "In respect to Kevin Pietersen discussions are ongoing and they remain private." It is understood that Andy Flower, the England coach, and Pietersen met last weekend, but that there is some way to go before a resolution to the issue is found.

While the ECB can add to the list of centrally contracted players at any point, time is running out before the Test squad to India is announced. The ECB originally hoped to announce the squad before the team depart for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in about a week's time, though they could delay it to allow Pietersen and Flower to continue their discussions during the tournament. Pietersen is due to be in Sri Lanka working for ESPN STAR as a summariser.

There is also some doubt as to Pietersen's desire to sign a central contract. While he recently reaffirmed his commitment to England in all forms of cricket, not signing a central contract would allow him to perform in the whole IPL and other T20 leagues such as Australia's BBL. It is also understood that Pietersen remains underwhelmed about the parody Twitter account that he feels may have been more directly influenced by some England team-mates than is thought by the ECB.

Chris Tremlett, who has been injured for almost the entire season and Strauss, who has retired, are also omitted from the list of players awarded contracts last year.

Eoin Morgan retains a central contract despite having not featured in the Test side since the series against Pakistan in the UAE, while Graham Onions is the one player added to the list of those players awarded incremental contracts. Morgan's inclusion may also provide encouragement to him ahead of the announcement of the Test squad to India.

Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "Congratulations to Graham Onions who is the one addition to the list of players who have been awarded increment contracts and is in recognition of the effort he has put in since his return from injury in 2011 and an indication that we feel he has plenty to offer England in the coming months."

"Contracts are on-going recognition for those players who have regularly been selected for England and have performed consistently as well as players who we feel could play an important role for England over the next 12 months."

England central contracts James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Matt Prior (Sussex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

England incremental contracts Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Graham Onions (Durham)

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on September 9, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    Cpl Meanster: I always enjoy the passion of your debate but I do wonder sometmes about the substance behind your points. Firstly, let me agree that KP has, at times, been a very destructive batsman, and that - at times - that's exactly what a team needs. But your assessment of his worth to the ENG team is way in excess of the reality. His dominating, destructive innings are NOT the norm. They are not even reasonably common. If they aren't rare, then they are certainly pretty uncommon, both in Tests & ODIs. (Yes, he had a good WC T20, but that format is a lottery & anyone can come out on top on different days). Overall, he has a fairly goodish record in Tests, a record punctuated by deep disappointment at least as often as success. Even allowing for the fact that attacking batsmen generally have more lower scores, he has been dismissed early and ignominiously by average bowlers far too often. Please desist from calling him our "stand-out batsman." He wasn't & isn't - not nearly.

  • Peter on September 9, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    testcricketbestcricket: I certainly agree with the sentiment behind your cricinfo forum name! However, I'm often baffled by comments from contributors here, & your point that IPL is the envy of the world is the latest. Why would a sensible contributor say such a thing? Don't know how IPL looks from India (but from most - not all - IND comments I can guess) nor even from countries such as AUS, SA or WI. However, as a very active player & watcher in ENG I think I've a fair idea of how it's viewed in ENG. It's just not on the radar!!! I think it's televised on some UK channel somewhere but must admit to never having seen a ball bowled. I'm therefore not in a position to judge it, but am in a position to gauge its profile over here. I've rarely heard ANYONE even mention it in the years it has been going, & I see several dozen (at least) active cricketers (from county down to village) a week. If KP was restricted to T20 (say IPL & BB) alone, his profile would simply vanish overnight.

  • david on September 9, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    JG2704 i agree if he had kept his mouth shut i think it could have been soothed out. but the guy just cannot do that. who in their right mind would just go on and on. sometimes keeping stum is the best defence. he could have voiced his thoughts when he retired which in turn people could buy his book, or those who gave a dam.

  • david on September 9, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    StraightHit. could not agree more, he may get his present problems sorted. but im afraid the brits will not forget this past month.i also think he will find it a problem living in the uk even with an english wife. down the road in about 5/6 years after he retires i can see him thinking why the hell did i do that. whats in the future for him perhaps tv pundit in SA or god forbid Australia just think of him and tony sitting in the commentary box.

  • Geoffrey on September 9, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Good, now let's move on to players that are actually loyal to the team.

  • Varun on September 9, 2012, 11:18 GMT

    ENG LINEUP WITHOUT PIETERSEN: Kieswetter (wk), Hales, Bopara, Morgan, Bairstow, Buttler, Patel, Broad (C), Swann, Finn, Dernbach. ENG LINEUP WITH PIETERSEN: Pietersen, Hales, Bopara/Wright, Morgan, Bairstow, Kieswetter (C), Patel/Bresnan, Broad (C), Swann, Finn, Dernbach/Tredwell. The difference is obvious. My ENG TEAM: Kevin Pietersen, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Tredwell. Yes, the side is spin-heavy: maybe Tim Bresnan could be brought in instead of Patel.

  • John on September 9, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @ puroniks on (September 08 2012, 04:06 AM GMT) before his latest rant I'd have said probably . Since his latest outburst I'd definitely say yes. A shame

  • John on September 9, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @ Si Baker on (September 08 2012, 10:10 AM GMT) I'm not sure it is great that Morgan is a centrally contracted player. To me he has not done enough in the 1st class game to merit being a test player - even with the current crop's standards. I've not noticed him putting in any outstanding performances since the UAE series.

  • nikhil on September 9, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    TONTONZLOAMOUKOLO: The difference is that the Individual from India is one of the greatest batsmen of all time. The individual from England(South Africa) is only a very good batsman.

  • Dummy4 on September 8, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    @Ian Burnett Didn't see him smash Herath then?

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