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October 10, 2012
Stuart Broad has insisted that Kevin Pietersen will be welcomed back to the England dressing room whenever the management decide the time is right for the batsman's return.
Pietersen is currently preparing for the Champions League T20 with Delhi Daredevils in South Africa. He is due to fly back to the UK for a round of meetings with senior England players as part of his 'reintegration' process that began when he signed a four-month contract last week.
Broad said he had not spoken to Pietersen since the Headingley Test against South Africa, where the situation escalated following his post-match press conference and a few days later Pietersen was omitted for the final Test at Lord's. If the next few weeks go smoothly, he is expected to return for the tour of India, after having been left out of the original squad.
"I'd have no problems playing with him or having a beer with him. It's not an issue," Broad told reporters in London. "Once the England management has decided when he's available to return, he'll be welcomed back into the changing room.
"We know he's a great cricketer, he's won a lot of trophies and has been a really good team-mate for England, certainly ever since I've been playing for them. We know that when KP's focused on playing for England and he's happy, he's a really dangerous player."
Broad was also caught up in the controversy, when it involved the parody Twitter account that Pietersen took offence to under the belief that some of the England players were involved. Broad is friends with the person who admitted being behind it, Richard Bailey, but issued a statement denying any involvement in the account.
"The team have no issues with KP coming back if the management decide he's ready to," Broad said. "It's in their hands at the moment. There are some meetings going on behind closed doors and we're waiting to see the outcome of those.
"But from the team's perspective his integration will be easy. Ultimately we're playing cricket and we want guys who will score runs and take catches to help England win. Whatever's happened has happened. We pride ourselves on being a strong dressing room and I'm sure that if he came back for India or New Zealand, or whenever it is, that things will be fine within the team."
Although Pietersen made himself available for all England cricket via a YouTube video the day before he was dropped - reversing his retirement from limited-overs cricket from earlier in the year - he followed the World Twenty20 from a TV studio rather than the dug-out as England were eliminated in the Super Eights stage.
One of the major problems for England during the tournament was not being given a solid start in the Powerplays. In their first three matches, against Afghanistan, India and West Indies, they lost at least one wicket in the first over, and for the final Super Eights match against Sri Lanka, they juggled the batting order by omitting Craig Kieswetter.
"It's hard to tell if the results would had been different had he been there," Broad said. "Obviously he's a fantastic Twenty20 cricketer who did wonders for us when we won the World Twenty20 in 2010.
"In June, when I found out he'd retired from the white-ball format, as captain I was hugely disappointed because I thought he'd be an integral part of our World Cup defence.
"It would be hard for me to say we didn't miss someone of his experience at the top of the order so I was disappointed when he did pull out. But the situation went towards the management side of things and it turned out he couldn't be there."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala