Pietersen is desperate to represent England once again
England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s attempt to return to playing international cricket has suffered yet another setback as the flamboyant batsman was not included in the squad that will represent the country at the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 next month in Sri Lanka.
Pietersen had expressed his desire to represent England at the ICC World Twenty20 over the past few months, but due to his reluctance to play in ODIs, which saw him retire from limited overs cricket earlier in the year, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had no choice but to leave him out of the squad.
England have instead added Nottinghamshire opener Michael Lumb and Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright to be part of the 15-man squad.
Lumb and Wright were both part of the England squad that won the ICC World Twenty20 back in 2010.
England batsman Ravi Bopara, who has been absent from the squad due to personal reasons has also secured a spot on the roster for himself.
Meanwhile, England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad will be rested for the ODI series against South Africa since the ECB and national selectors want him to recuperate before leading the country next month.
Veteran pace bowler James Anderson has also made the squad, while Danny Briggs has been included as the second specialist spinner.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “Stuart Broad has an important period coming up leading our T20 side and with a three match series followed closely by the ICC World T20 we feel a two week break from cricket is in the best interests of both Stuart and the team. Kevin Pietersen’s future involvement is still being determined and he was therefore not considered for selection in either squad.”
Pietersen’s omission from the squad is also linked to the past few weeks, where he sent derogatory text messages about his team-mates to the South African team.
Even though Pietersen apologised to the ECB for the messages he sent during the second Test at Headingley, the board stated that there will be no swift conclusion to the scandal and that the England batsman may not be selected for a long time.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News, England coach Andy Flower said: “It’s a sad situation for everyone involved. He played superb in the last Twenty20 World Cup but the circumstances at the moment mean he can’t be selected, there are still issues unresolved and we will be addressing those when we have time. Let me be clear, this is not just an issue between the captain and Kevin. There are deeper issues, certainly of trust and mutual respect that need to be addressed. Those issues have to be resolved before there is anyway forward.”
Pietersen was named as the Man of the Tournament during the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, but due to the recent events, another cricketer will be awarded with the honour this year.
Most of England’s players for the World Twenty20 have been regular faces on either their limited overs or Test squads, but Wright and Lumb have been added to the squad after having an impressive Friends Life Twenty20 tournament, in which Wright scored 309 runs at a strike-rate of 161.78, while Lumb made 252 runs in eight matches.
England begin their title defence in a match against Afghanistan on September 21.