England's Pietersen dilemma October 2, 2012

Pietersen likely to be offered ECB contract


Andy Flower, the ECB team director, is expecting some clarity over the Kevin Pietersen situation to emerge within the next couple of days.*

Pietersen became a free agent on Monday when his ECB central contract expired but he is expected to be offered a new 12-month deal although that it may not mean a swift return to the team.

"The situation is ongoing. I think it's nearing an end now - in a positive way, I hope," Flower said. "There's been a lot of formal communication between the ECB and Kevin, and there will be a press conference I would imagine in the next 36 hours which will enlighten you a little further."

However, Flower hinted that it was too soon to talk about Pietersen's place in the team. "We don't close doors to anyone," he said. "If we get over that first stage first and get some of the formal legal proceedings out of the way, then we'll get on to the cricket thereafter."

Pietersen has been working as TV pundit in Sri Lanka over the last couple of weeks during the World Twenty20 and has held a number of meetings Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, after he was left off the original contract list that was named last month. It is expected that Pietersen will be told to make another public apology to go alongside the private conversations he has had with Alastair Cook, Andy Flower and the former captain Andrew Strauss.

Pietersen has said he will commit to all cricket for England and not play a full IPL - a stance first voiced in his YouTube video the day before he was dropped - having previously retired from ODIs which forced him to quit Twenty20.

However, he is still expected to play for Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League T20 which starts next week and there are a number of Big Bash League franchises interested in signing him and that tournament takes place in December and January. Closer to home an ECB contract will make it simpler for Pietersen to remain on Surrey's books as his salary will be paid by the board.

Pietersen has been on the outside since he was left out of the final Test against South Africa when it was revealed he sent 'provocative' texts to South African players at Headingley. He has since apologised for the messages, although the exact content remains in doubt as there is no physical evidence.

With the ECB suits appearing ready to sign-off on Pietersen's return it is now a question of how Flower will feel about the situation and how soon he believes Pietersen can be brought back into the fold. Given that the Test squad for the India series has already been named that appears too soon, but there are two Twenty20s before Christmas and the one-day leg afterwards which are both possibilities although the tour of New Zealand may provide a cleaner starting point.

*This is an updated version of a story posted on October 1

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hira on October 3, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    I didn't understood one thing, Were ECB, Flower and Broad seriously thought that they could win the T20 WC without KP?...that after the failure they immediately took the U turn and got him in .....feel sorry for Hales, Bairstow, Butler and even Morgan they were so much under pressure since the start, its not because they were playing the big tournament for the first time (not morgan) but because the management was searching for KP replacement among them.........any ways hope all is sorted out and I am too excited for KP to play in India and beat them...good luck KP and welcome back!

  • Ash on October 3, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Amusing how almost all the vitriolic KP bashers, formally so adamant in their condemnation are now so conspicuous by their absence from this discussion.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @Ashley Brackstone, cricket wins in the end, does it? Well it now appears that winning is the ONLY thing that matters! Decency and self respect seem to be totally forgotten and it's anther step closer to Football!!!!

  • Vinod on October 3, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    miss you so much, but see you for champions league.

  • Daison on October 3, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @RednWHiteArmy - In fact its Hugh Morris, Jimmy Anderson, Swann, Broad and co who should apologise to the fans. They have the same amount of guilt in this saga and Hugh Morris may be guilty of also taking sides.

  • Ray on October 3, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: Presumably in the interests of fairness and 'democracy', you would agree that each individual who is centrally contracted to England is given the option to pick and choose precisely which England matches they want to play in? Practionally, not only would be such a system be unworkable next season - England have home Test matches against NZ in May - but I thought that the whole point of centrally contracting players was that the management could decide which, and how many, matches they want each individual to play in?

  • John on October 3, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    @maximum6 on (October 02 2012, 15:16 PM GMT) Agreed that he has apologised to Strauss but it seems that all his apologies are forced and meaningless. Why not come forward and apologise straight away or if he felt he had nothing to apologise for why not come forward to put his point of view across? The texts might be old hat but was that not the issue which led to him being discarded? Re apologising for dropping a guy who just scored 149 it was not a form reason why he was dropped.I bet he didn't apologise to ECB for being so poor in the UAE test series. Insinuations about him being a mercenary - well is that not untrue ? and re players saying stuff in public about him - are we talking Swann in the book or what KP believes players has said about him on that Twitter account? Please publish this time. Nothing factually untrue and we all should be allowed an opinion.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    This is KP effect. England team was like looking like spineless champions in this WC. High time the ECB settles the matters and they have to make sure they don't humiliate KP by asking him to make apology in the public, because, the things happened inside the dressing room and between the team should be held within the walls.

  • Baundule on October 3, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    Good timing by Flower. Now everyone will talk about KP, and not about England's TEAM performance in the WT20.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Cricket wins in the end... Would be good to have KP back in the English colours.

  • No featured comments at the moment.