England news January 9, 2013

Pietersen regains central contract

17

Kevin Pietersen has been awarded a full central contract by the ECB, so formally completing his reintegration into the England set-up.

Confirmation that Pietersen had regained official approval was given by England's limited-overs coach, Ashley Giles, ahead of the opening ODI against India in Rajkot on Friday. His contract, in common with the rest of England's senior players, will run until September 30.

As England arrived in Rajkot, Giles said: "Kevin has now signed up fully and is fully back on board. It's great news. It's great for me to have him, his experience in this part of the world is invaluable."

Pietersen had been playing on a short-term deal since his relationship deteriorated last summer with the ECB, England's director of coaching Andy Flower and several senior players, an affair which reached a head when he was dropped for the final Test of the summer against South Africa.

He missed World Twenty20 but returned to England's Test side for the series in India and his flamboyant 186 in the second Test in Mumbai turned a series that England went on to win 2-1.

Attention will now turn not to Pietersen's lone stand-offs with the England cricket authorities, but the progress of negotiations on a redrafted central contract which are taking place between the ECB and the Professional Cricketers Association with the aim of reaching agreement before back-to-back Ashes series against Australia later this year.

Angus Porter, chief executive of the PCA, who was called in last summer to broker peace talks between Pietersen and the ECB, suggested at the time that a more formalised rotation system was essential if players were to survive the record amounts of cricket being played and called for players to be given a say in their rest periods.

Under the present system, time off is entirely a decision for the England management based on their assessment of a player's needs.

Porter also favours the establishment of a window for IPL which would allow England's top players to take part in the event, but with the BCCI resisting such a suggestion in the belief that they are empowered to act as they wish anyway, and other Boards showing little inclination to debate the matter, he is unlikely to make progress on the subject.

Pietersen will not be the only England player watching such negotiations, but he will be watching them more avidly than most and his advisers can be expected to make their feelings known.

It would be naive, too, to assume that his signing of a central contract is the start of an untroubled long-term peace which will last until his retirement. His prolonged fall out with the England management disturnbed him and his rapport with his England team-mates was by all reports a good one in India.

But he remains essentially the same headstrong individualist who has permanently to remind himself of the importance of group requirements and that is not about to change because he has signed a piece of paper.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DeckChairand6pack on January 9, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    Cricket is richer for having KP in it. Destroyed us single handed at Edgbaston this year. In the 1st innings at the Oval he looked ominous before he was undone by Jacques' effort ball. I am personally prepared to arrange for eye tests for all of the Natal selectors. How the hell could you have let this guy slip through your fingers!?

  • 2.14istherunrate on January 9, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Obviously this is a great moment for everyone. The batting would have been seriously dodgey without him. Now it is a class above most upper orders,including our Ashes foes-without Hussey they are really quite light. Also tactically it is hard not to imagine that he has his own take on things and therefore has useful input. No side can in any case survive on yes men or the mealey mouthed, not that I think they are with Prior and Swann in the side.

  • Vilander on January 10, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    Only special cricketers make a home fan feel good even when they are beating their home team black and blue, KP is one of them. Thanks goodness that sense prevailed, let him finish his tenure and go in his own terms.

  • CricketMaan on January 10, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    I wonder how Eng would have fared in Tests if KP was not back? Yes Cook might have still scored all those 100s and Swanny and Monty still would have picked 19 wkts in a Test, but a 2-1 scoreline might not have happened. Cricket has no place for ifs and buts, but that KP 100 in mumbai was a game changer! it not only gave time but also authority to Eng to boss over India. They never looked back again in that tour.

  • letsgoproteas on January 10, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    DeckChairand6pack - simple. he wasnt good enough

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 10, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    So when's the next IPL? All's well until that starts up again I suppose...

  • crickketlover on January 10, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Give captain Cook the credit for getting KP back by pressuring ECB that paved the way for KP's return.

  • NickeyT on January 9, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    Is Trott likely to play in ODIs ? Here's my England XI :

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Patel, Kieswetter(/Buttler), Tredwell, Bresnan, Finn, Dernbach.

    This would mean that Patel needs to bowl 10 overs... I'm not sure about this. I really think the first 4 should be in the squad. They all are capable of big innings, and are experienced players. Morgan is good to have in your team, he can change things. The problem is the rest... Who's gonna be #6, and who's gonna be the wicketkeeper ? Kieswetter or Buttler ? Should Woakes be included ?

    Many questions...

  • skilebow on January 9, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Personally I've always thought RandyOZ's trolling was neither funny nor intelligent. I've always found it a bit pathetic to be honest

  • Raghavthetruman on January 9, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    @RandyOZ seriously man am a big fan of u i love your trolling keep up ur good work and continue to entertain us :) :) :)

  • DeckChairand6pack on January 9, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    Cricket is richer for having KP in it. Destroyed us single handed at Edgbaston this year. In the 1st innings at the Oval he looked ominous before he was undone by Jacques' effort ball. I am personally prepared to arrange for eye tests for all of the Natal selectors. How the hell could you have let this guy slip through your fingers!?

  • 2.14istherunrate on January 9, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Obviously this is a great moment for everyone. The batting would have been seriously dodgey without him. Now it is a class above most upper orders,including our Ashes foes-without Hussey they are really quite light. Also tactically it is hard not to imagine that he has his own take on things and therefore has useful input. No side can in any case survive on yes men or the mealey mouthed, not that I think they are with Prior and Swann in the side.

  • Vilander on January 10, 2013, 18:31 GMT

    Only special cricketers make a home fan feel good even when they are beating their home team black and blue, KP is one of them. Thanks goodness that sense prevailed, let him finish his tenure and go in his own terms.

  • CricketMaan on January 10, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    I wonder how Eng would have fared in Tests if KP was not back? Yes Cook might have still scored all those 100s and Swanny and Monty still would have picked 19 wkts in a Test, but a 2-1 scoreline might not have happened. Cricket has no place for ifs and buts, but that KP 100 in mumbai was a game changer! it not only gave time but also authority to Eng to boss over India. They never looked back again in that tour.

  • letsgoproteas on January 10, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    DeckChairand6pack - simple. he wasnt good enough

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 10, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    So when's the next IPL? All's well until that starts up again I suppose...

  • crickketlover on January 10, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Give captain Cook the credit for getting KP back by pressuring ECB that paved the way for KP's return.

  • NickeyT on January 9, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    Is Trott likely to play in ODIs ? Here's my England XI :

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Patel, Kieswetter(/Buttler), Tredwell, Bresnan, Finn, Dernbach.

    This would mean that Patel needs to bowl 10 overs... I'm not sure about this. I really think the first 4 should be in the squad. They all are capable of big innings, and are experienced players. Morgan is good to have in your team, he can change things. The problem is the rest... Who's gonna be #6, and who's gonna be the wicketkeeper ? Kieswetter or Buttler ? Should Woakes be included ?

    Many questions...

  • skilebow on January 9, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Personally I've always thought RandyOZ's trolling was neither funny nor intelligent. I've always found it a bit pathetic to be honest

  • Raghavthetruman on January 9, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    @RandyOZ seriously man am a big fan of u i love your trolling keep up ur good work and continue to entertain us :) :) :)

  • deol84 on January 9, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Nice one, i wish he could play in one day series against india.England already have good chance thrashing india but with kp in the team good chance for the whitewash.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 9, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Getting KP back is a big bonus, but we won't be a world class team until we ditch the dead wood, and the dead wood in England's team is Bopara and Patel. Hopefully they have finally realised Bopara will never be good enough and some of the young players coming through should be ahead of him in the queue, but only when Patel is dispensed with will the team be much stronger.

  • richardror on January 9, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Nice to see you back RandyOZ. I notice you took a sabbatical after during England's domination of India.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 9, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Congrats KP on getting a central contract! Welcome to India again for the ODIs. Enthrall us with your arrogant stroke-play.

  • RandyOZ on January 9, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Was anyone actually seriously considering that he wouldn't regain it? They had to keep the South African, him and cook are the only ones keeping the rickety ship full of passengers like Bell, Swann, and Broad together. The inevitable slide continues!

  • RajeevSingh127 on January 9, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Without A doubt Kevin Pietersen Is a World Class Player. English Cricket is privileged To have a player like him. In INDIA to KP has a Huge Fan Following Including ME :)

  • Jalz007 on January 9, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Welcome Back to the English Team K.P. I am sure fans from England, India & worldwide can expect entertaining cricket from you, like your always did!!!!

  • Jalz007 on January 9, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Welcome Back to the English Team K.P. I am sure fans from England, India & worldwide can expect entertaining cricket from you, like your always did!!!!

  • RajeevSingh127 on January 9, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Without A doubt Kevin Pietersen Is a World Class Player. English Cricket is privileged To have a player like him. In INDIA to KP has a Huge Fan Following Including ME :)

  • RandyOZ on January 9, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Was anyone actually seriously considering that he wouldn't regain it? They had to keep the South African, him and cook are the only ones keeping the rickety ship full of passengers like Bell, Swann, and Broad together. The inevitable slide continues!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 9, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Congrats KP on getting a central contract! Welcome to India again for the ODIs. Enthrall us with your arrogant stroke-play.

  • richardror on January 9, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Nice to see you back RandyOZ. I notice you took a sabbatical after during England's domination of India.

  • yorkshire-86 on January 9, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Getting KP back is a big bonus, but we won't be a world class team until we ditch the dead wood, and the dead wood in England's team is Bopara and Patel. Hopefully they have finally realised Bopara will never be good enough and some of the young players coming through should be ahead of him in the queue, but only when Patel is dispensed with will the team be much stronger.

  • deol84 on January 9, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    Nice one, i wish he could play in one day series against india.England already have good chance thrashing india but with kp in the team good chance for the whitewash.

  • Raghavthetruman on January 9, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    @RandyOZ seriously man am a big fan of u i love your trolling keep up ur good work and continue to entertain us :) :) :)

  • skilebow on January 9, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Personally I've always thought RandyOZ's trolling was neither funny nor intelligent. I've always found it a bit pathetic to be honest

  • NickeyT on January 9, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    Is Trott likely to play in ODIs ? Here's my England XI :

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Patel, Kieswetter(/Buttler), Tredwell, Bresnan, Finn, Dernbach.

    This would mean that Patel needs to bowl 10 overs... I'm not sure about this. I really think the first 4 should be in the squad. They all are capable of big innings, and are experienced players. Morgan is good to have in your team, he can change things. The problem is the rest... Who's gonna be #6, and who's gonna be the wicketkeeper ? Kieswetter or Buttler ? Should Woakes be included ?

    Many questions...