• England Cricket

Pietersen & ECB agree return

ESPN staff
October 3, 2012 « FA deny Foy demotion after Fergie rant | Chartbeat test »
Kevin Pietersen has built bridges with the England hierarchy © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has signed a four-month central contract with the ECB and will be "reintegrated" into the England team after a process of reconciliation was agreed with the batsman.

The announcement could pave the way for Pietersen to be included in England's touring squad to India, although that has not been confirmed.

"It's been a horrible situation for all involved but it's time to move forward," Pietersen said. "All being well I'll be back in an England shirt as soon as possible.

"I am committed to completing the reintegration process we have agreed over the coming weeks and resuming my England career in all formats, hopefully until the World Cup in 2015, as long as my body allows. I want my son growing up seeing me playing for England and I hope one day he will put an England shirt on himself.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to my team-mates, all England supporters and the ECB for the situation that has arisen over the last couple of months. Thankfully we have drawn a line under it and can move forward. Although it has been covered in the statement, I'd like to make it clear that at no time did I share tactical information with any of the South Africans."

Pietersen had been dropped from the side after sending what he admitted were "provocative" texts about the former England captain Andrew Strauss to members of the South Africa team during the summer. Pietersen had apologised to Strauss privately but was not included in England's squad for the World Twenty20, despite reversing his one-day retirement, or the party for India.

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The ECB said, however, that it has received "binding assurance" from Pietersen that the messages, which have since been deleted, were not derogatory about Strauss and did not contain advice on how to get him out, as had been alleged.

An ECB statement said: "ECB and Kevin Pietersen confirm that agreement has been reached concerning a process for his reintegration into the England team during the remainder of 2012. Upon completion of the programme, the England selectors will consider Kevin for future matches.

"Kevin Pietersen has apologised to Andrew Strauss and wishes to express to all those who support England his regrets at the impact the recent controversies have had on the England team. He now wishes to put the events of the summer behind him and to focus on regaining his place in the England team.

"With regards the issue of the BBM messages, due to the fact that Kevin had not retained the BBM messages, this matter has been successfully concluded through a binding assurance provided to ECB by Kevin. Kevin conceded that the messages exchanged were provocative.

"ECB is satisfied, following receipt of this binding assurance, that to the best of his recollection, Kevin did not convey any messages which were derogatory about the England captain, the England team director, the ECB or employees of the ECB. Furthermore, there was no tactical information whatsoever provided to members of the South African touring party."

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