Kevin Pietersen will be at September's World Twenty20 - not as a player but as part of ESPN STAR Sports' team of television presenters. The news comes soon after it was confirmed that Pietersen would not play the World T20 for England following his spat with the ECB and his team-mates - whose performance he could now be commenting on from the outside.
ESS*, who hold the broadcast rights for ICC tournaments, said on Friday that Pietersen - who was named player of the tournament when England won it in 2010 - would be on their 'presentation and analysis team' during the marquee tournament. Players have done commentary stints on series they've had to miss through injury but this could be the first time a player omitted in such controversial circumstances will be at the mic.
Following his spectacular century in Leeds against South Africa, in a series which resulted in England losing their No. 1 Test ranking, Pietersen had spoken at a press conference about how he'd like to "carry on but there are obstacles that need to be worked out … and points I'm trying to sort out in the dressing room". The issues included his desire to play the IPL in its entirety, text messages he sent to South African players during the series - allegedly about England captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower - and a parody Twitter account that he suspected his team-mates of starting.
He had since apologised and released a video where he committed himself to international cricket but, as the matter grew more complicated, he was left out from the squad for the final South Africa Test, and was not among the 15 England players named for World T20 on August 21.
Apart from analysis, the ESS release said, Pietersen will also play an important role in the publicity and promotion of the broadcast of World T20.
*ESPN STAR Sports is a 50:50 joint venture between Walt Disney (ESPN, Inc.), the parent company of ESPNcricinfo, and News Corporation Limited (STAR)