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January 15, 2014
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Series/Tournaments: World T20
Ashley Giles, England's limited-overs coach, has called Kevin Pietersen a "million-pound asset" after he was included in the provisional 30-man squad for the World Twenty20 although that does not necessarily mean his Test future is any clearer.
In the wake of the 5-0 Ashes loss there were reports that Andy Flower, the team director, had made a "him or me" ultimatum over Pietersen's presence in the Test side. Flower denied those claims but without specific reference to Pietersen.
Giles said that at no point had there been any consideration over not putting Pietersen's name in the 30, although these large squads mean little until they are trimmed to 15, which will happen in early February following the Twenty20 series against Australia.
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The review into the Ashes loss has yet to take place with Paul Downton, the new managing director of England cricket, still in Australia and not officially in position until February 1. Before the World Twenty20 England have a short one-day and T20 tour to West Indies which Pietersen will need to be part of if he is to play in the World Twenty20.
"There was no discussion about leaving Kevin out," Giles said. "He's another million pound asset at least, he might be worth a bit more than that. He's a fantastic player and he has shown that in T20 cricket. He's not played that much for me in T20, but in other competitions he has shown how dangerous he can be."
There remains the potential for two England coaches wanting two different things even though Flower retains ultimate control. Alastair Cook, captain of the Test and ODI sides but not the T20 team, where Stuart Broad has the role, will also have a significant input into Pietersen's future.
Pietersen has only played one Twenty20 international in nearly two years for England - and that was a game that only lasted two balls against New Zealand last year - due to resting and suspension. However, he was Man of the Tournament when England won the World T20 in the Caribbean but was not part of their 2012 defence as it came during the period he was suspended following the text messages he sent to the South Africans on their tour. He worked as a TV pundit during the tournament and it was in Colombo, sat alongside ECB chairman Giles Clarke, where his 'reintegration' process began.
Following the recent claims of Flower not wanting him to be part of the Test side, Pietersen reiterated his desire to continue until at least 2015 when the Ashes are next contested.
Elsewhere in England's 30-man squad there are eight players yet to appear at Twenty20 international level: Moeen Ali, Harry Gurney, Graham Onions, James Vince, Stephen Parry, Gary Ballance, James Taylor and Michael Carberry
Squad Stuart Broad (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler (wkt), Michael Carberry, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Craig Kieswetter (wkt), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Steven Parry, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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