Cricket: Kevin Pietersen has signalled his intent to go on the tour of India after his return to the England fold was confirmed today.
At a press conference in Colombo, Pietersen and Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, read agreed statements which confirmed that the controversial batsman will undergo a “reintegration process.”
Pietersen apologised to all parties for the “horrible” situation which has rumbled on for two months following revelations that he sent “provocative” text messages to opposition South Africa players during the Headingley Test.
That act led to Pietersen being booted out of the England set-up, though he has now agreed a central contract, which has an initial length of four months.
The ECB have accepted in good faith Pietersen’s assurances that his text messages made no “derogatory” references to former Test skipper Andrew Strauss, as was reported.
Goodwill from all sides will be required if Pietersen is to make a swift return to the team, but the 32-year-old believes he can make the trip to Dubai on October 25 for England’s pre-India tour training camp.
Pietersen said: “I hope so. I want to play for England as soon as I can. The process has started really well — and I believe, all being well, I’ll be back in an England shirt as soon as possible.
“I really do believe that we have got a very good opportunity here for everything to be sorted. We’re all human beings. We all make mistakes. I’ve apologised for them.”
Clarke said that Pietersen’s act of contrition meant that he deserved a chance to make amends. “In our society, we believe that if an individual transgresses — and the individual concerned recognises that and apologises for what they may have caused to those involved — then it is important, and a fabric of our society, that that individual should be given a real opportunity to be reintegrated into our society,” he said.
“This principle is an essential part of having civilised and sensible ethics. Kevin has apologised.”
Pietersen is due to finish his duties as a pundit at the World Twenty20 and is then scheduled to play for the Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League.
Clarke nonetheless believes Pietersen can find time to meet with coach Andy Flower as he starts to build bridges with those in the England set-up.
“Kevin will be engaged in a reintegration process, which has already started today with a lengthy meeting with me — and the process will continue during October,” Clarke said.
“Andy Flower will determine the progress of this process and he will advise the board when he believes the dressing room, England management and Kevin himself are ready for Kevin to be reconsidered for selection. That could be very soon, or much later.”
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