A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: ECB decide not to award Kevin Pietersen with central contract

Pietersen is now free to play in any domestic Twenty20 tournament

With all the drama and speculation England batsman Kevin Pietersen has caused over the summer, it came as no surprise when he was not offered a central contract from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the 2012 to 2013 season.

Pietersen has not represented England since the second Test match against South Africa which ended on August 6 due to his frosty relations with his team-mates and the ECB.

During the Test series against England, Pietersen was found guilty of sending derogatory text messages about former Test captain Andrew Strauss and current coach Andy Flower to the South African team.

He was also involved in a heated dispute with a senior member of the side after going on a foul-mouthed rampage about debutant James Taylor during the second Test at Headingley.

A statement released by the ECB said: “In respect to Kevin Pietersen discussions are ongoing and they remain private.”

Pietersen has met with board members to discuss his international future, which many cricket pundits see as over.

Since Pietersen was left out of England’s 15-man squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, he decided to become a television pundit for the ESPN-Star Sports network.

Even though the ECB can always add another centrally contracted player at any given time, Pietersen’s future is still dangling by a thread as he attempts to restore his pride and get back into the England squad.

However, over the past number of weeks, there has been growing speculation over whether Pietersen even wants to sign a central contract since he is now free to accomplish his mission of playing a full season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and any of the other domestic Twenty20 tournaments around the world.

Andrew Strauss, who recently retired and Chris Tremlett, who has been battling with injuries over the past year will not be given central contracts, while Eoin Morgan received one, even though he has not represented England in Test cricket since their tour to the United Arab Emirates where they played Pakistan earlier this year.

Former England bowler Graham Onions, who has been outstanding throughout the county season, has been added to the list of players with incremental contracts.

The ECB are hoping that by giving Morgan a central contract, he will start to showcase his true talent, starting with the upcoming tour of India next month.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “Congratulations to Graham Onions who is the one addition to the list of players who have been awarded increment contracts and is in recognition of the effort he has put in since his return from injury in 2011 and an indication that we feel he has plenty to offer England in the coming months.”

“Contracts are on-going recognition for those players who have regularly been selected for England and have performed consistently as well as players who we feel could play an important role for England over the next 12 months,” he added.

The England players that received a central contract for the 2012 to 2013 season are: James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.

The England players that received incremental contracts for the 2012 to 2013 season are: Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter, Graham Onions.

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