England news

Pietersen contract set to be extended

Alan Gardner

December 19, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen reached his first fifty of the series, India v England, 2nd Test, Mumbai, 2nd day, November 24, 2012
Kevin Pietersen's form was an key element in England's landmark Test series win in India © BCCI
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Kevin Pietersen's return to the England set-up is likely to be given a final stamp of authority by the ECB with the upgrading of his four-month central contract to a full, year-long one.

Pietersen, who was dropped from the squad during the Test series against South Africa after a breakdown in relations with the dressing room, was given a short-term contract at the beginning of October, after England's exit from the World Twenty20. That would run up until the end of January but Andy Flower, England's team manager, indicated that Pietersen's "reintegration" had gone smoothly and a new contract, covering home and away series against New Zealand and the Ashes, will be a formality.

"The contract won't be a problem," Flower said. "Kevin has been excellent in every way. We don't all always get on with people all of the time - any of us in any walk of life - and everyone has made an effort to make it work."

The temporary arrangement allowed Pietersen to be selected for England's tour of India, where they secured a first Test series win since 1985. Pietersen made a crucial century in the series-levelling win in Mumbai and ended as England's second-highest run-scorer, and Flower was keen to praise his efforts. "It's been really good fun and he should be very proud of the way he's operated out here, both as an individual and as a player," he said.

Pietersen, along with the majority of England's Test squad, has returned home after being rested for the two-match T20 series with India, which begins on Thursday. He will be part of the ODI squad flying back out to India in January and is set to play his first one-day match in almost a year, since scoring back-to-back hundreds in England's 4-0 whitewash of Pakistan in the UAE.

Just a few months later, Pietersen announced his surprise retirement from limited-overs international cricket, setting off a chain of events that culminated in his exclusion from the England set-up but Flower insisted the issues had been fully resolved.

"We did move on from it as soon as we had our meetings and everyone made a commitment to do so," Flower said of the behind-the-scenes process to smooth Pietersen's return to the squad. "I want to continue that, moving forward. We want to learn from the past, but we don't want to keep on revisiting it."

While Pietersen has been included for the five ODIs against India, James Anderson and Jonathan Trott have been rested, in line with England's move towards a more flexible selection policy. Pietersen's temporary retirement was in part down to a feeling that too much was being demanded of England cricketers and the message appears to have been heeded, and even extended to the management. The ODI series will be Ashley Giles' first in charge of the limited-overs sides, with Flower taking a more back-seat role.

"We want to make this new coaching structure work for English cricket like we did the three captains," Flower said. "It's not gimmickry; we want to make the most efficient use of our resources and our personnel. I think we're lucky to have a coach of Ashley Giles' quality taking over and we want some of his ideas and energy to assist in taking our limited-overs sides up a notch or two. We believe he can do that."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by dabhand on (December 20, 2012, 16:27 GMT)

@trav29 - I think you are missing one key point though - KP is 5 years older, so assuming all things remain equal he will have 5 years longer than KP to add to his tally and naturally *greatness* has to be relative to what either do on the field counts, but that has to include throwing hissy fits. @sachin_vvsfan, that's what teams are all about, everyone, not just an individual - not even KP can win single handed, he doesn't bowl enough ;-)

Posted by Charlie101 on (December 20, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

@Alex Alleyne you have missed the point KP had his second attempt at running English cricket - the first was with Peter Moore and the second was his bizarre retirement from th ODI team expecting the management to allow him to play in the T20 world cup. He lost big time on both occasions

The good thing is that now he understands the system is stronger than him and various other team members are also behaving and we have a a winning team again.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 20, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

The fact that he is not English does not concern me - let's face it all English teams over the past 40 years have been packed full of players from elsewhere. However at this very moment his head will be expanding and by the time the IPL comes round it will be the size of The Oval.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (December 20, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

@trav29 What I'm saying is that he's incredibly frustrating. He has the potential and the talent to be the greatest player ever, but he needs to use his head and cut out the regular daft dismissals. What he's like as a bloke is of no consequence to me

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

kevin pietersen has a wonderful record against india and his recent controversies didnt stop him from scoring runs in the series. such is his talent and no cricket board would like to loose him

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 20, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

@SurlyCynic on (December 19 2012, 12:10 PM GMT), um, there pretty much weren't any. It was always the non-England fans whining about KP not being English. There were certainly some England fans who questioned KP's commitment to English cricket, but that's hardly the same thing. Many would question Chris Gayle's commitment to WI cricket but that doesn't mean that they don't think that he's WI enough. Feel free to lie, bend the truth or distort facts in an attempt to make your tired old point though. KP wasn't born in England. We get it. Got anything useful to say?

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (December 20, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

His innings in mumbai turned the fortunes in Eng favour. With out Monty and KP cooks lone battle would have been in vain.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

When on song he is the best batsman in the world. He can take any bowler to the cleaners and for those who doubt his ability, they better confirm my statement form McGrath, Warne, Brett Lee, Steyn and Morkel. He has a touch of genius to his batting.

Posted by Akhter786 on (December 20, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

KP is surely among the modern day genius, only his presence has such a deep impact on the match that it becomes irresistible.

Though Cook is now the best batsman in england side but KP is the most impactful, even his fifties lift the team and leaves opposition desparate

Posted by IuR. on (December 20, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

KP is the best guy. very very good news

Posted by trav29 on (December 20, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

always makes me laugh to see comments like the one from yorkshire-matt

cook and KP have almost identical stats in test cricket , cook is considered to be in line to become one of the all-time great england batsmen whereas KP is supposedly just a guy who plays the odd decent innings ...

wish people would judge the guy on what he does on a cricket field and not allow their obvious dislike of him as a person blind their views on him as a cricketer

Posted by yorkshirematt on (December 19, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

One and a half decent innings and he's back in favour again. You could see at Nagpur he was back to being the same old complacent player, especially 2nd inns. Looking forward to his one decent innings v the aussies. Hope it's a crucial one.........

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (December 19, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

The fact that is lost about the whole Peitersen Saga is that is shines a light to the parts of English cricket and their fans that dont bear up well to examination. English cricket operates like a socialist state. Players need to tow the party line. Fans themselves talk about "no player being greater than the team". And when they stop out of line, they're sent off for 're-education' and then 're-integration'. A free-market player like Peitersen, cant sit well within this organisation, that prefers bureaucracy and management as the best way forward. Free spirited genius's have no place in this set up. As an Englishman, we'll never have a player the quality of Warne, Macgrath, Gillchrist, et al. Goodness me, out best bat has only made 8.5k of runs! We simply cant stand them exceeding the bar thats set by the bureaucracy of what makes an 'english' player of cricket.

Posted by bouncedout on (December 19, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

@surlycynic

I think you will find that it was the Aus supporters who claimed he wasn't English enough just as they do with the rest of the England team (whether they were born in England or not)

Eng fans are a little deeper than that and were referring to his behaviour not his place of birth.

Cheers

Posted by Long-Leg on (December 19, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@SurlyCynic: I was one of those English fans who felt he shouldn't have gone to India with England and it was nothing to do with his South African heritage. I simply felt that he valued money and ego more than playing for the national side. I judged that he would rather play IPL than turn out for England against New Zealand in the Spring. As a youngster, I would have given body parts for the chance to play test cricket for England, so I found his attitude completely infuriating. However, either I was wrong about KP or he's had a change of heart. Either way he seems to be committed to England now and long may this happy state of affairs continue.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

This is the way for players who run things in modern day games .

Posted by Charlie101 on (December 19, 2012, 14:29 GMT)

This is great news and the team seems to have knitted together again and playing well . I wish we could turn the clock back to the SA series and have the team firing and Finn in the side but such is life. We will need to beat New Zealand and a resurgent Aussie team and then hopefully have a chance to regain the number 1 position at some stage.

@wibblewibble agree with your comments completely and would only add that perhaps Swanny , Anderson and SB have changed also and this has hleped the reintegration.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 19, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

Thank God!! We are a far better team with KP in it than without. They all looked pretty happy in the games, though winning always helps. Much kudos to Cook especially for his part and everything else as well as the collective for bringing it right. At least we can watch our team do well.

Posted by Valavan on (December 19, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

@CricketMaan, dont forget Cook got 2 dodgy decisions in Nagpur, could i say England could have won if he has scored. Enjoy the game, instead looking back and yawning. India required a defeat at home, this was just that time. Overall English bowlers bowled much better than Indian counterparts, Ojha and Ashwin looked great in Ahmedabad, but they were completely decoded in following games. cricinfo please publish.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 19, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

@selassie-I - Surely Cook deserves all praise especially the way he got the best out of KP under tough circumstances. But on your comment about 4th 100, his second would not have even happened had the umpire upheld lbw at 41 of Ohja which was plumb. That said taking away nothing from Cook and England for the thumping victory. They say Every dog has its day!! England were for a long time on the recieving end, now they are a force.

Posted by wibblewibble on (December 19, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

SurlyCynic: He is still not bigger than the team. KP has ambitions to be the best player in the world ever, and he can only get there by being part of the Egnland team.

His reintegration was KP himself accepting this, and getting back into the team ethic. I think most England fans who were critical of KP during the summer have recognised that he has changed.

We can be critical of his attitude, and still want him back in the team. You want your best players in the team, which is why there was so much anger when one of your best decides that he is more important than the team.

Posted by Selassie-I on (December 19, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

Well done to the England management, Cook and Kev himself for sorting this mess out. It should have never got this far, but hopefully it will serve as a warning in the future to both sides.

Another tick on Cookie's sheet as well, series win in India & KP reintergrated, 3 100s on the tour, He deserves a very merry Christmas! (It could have even been 4 if Dharamensa hadn't intervened)

Posted by cloudmess on (December 19, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

The key to this was the media reaction during Pietersen's period of estragement: while most journalists were critical of his personality, the general consensus was that he was a great player and England's best batsmen... and that is what Pietersen needed to hear. At the end of the day he is less bothered about people liking him just so long as they think he is the best - that is what fuels his ego and his outrageous talent.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 19, 2012, 12:10 GMT)

Where are all those England fans who said he wasn't 'English' enough and should never play for England again? Seems they've either stopped commenting or stopped watching cricket entirely, amazing what a brilliant century can do.

Posted by venbas on (December 19, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

ECB and Flower have to be lauded for their efforts to get the England squad to their current position and certainly for the flexibility and pragmatic approach they have followed in the Kevin peterson soap opera. Finally we had a good Test series where the best team won. Hope the powers that be in the BCCI see the writing on the wall before they make the Indian team and consequently the game irrelevant.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 19, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

hes been quite for close to 4 month so we must be near to him putting his foot in it, before long

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