KP ‘back on board’

Kevin Pietersen has been awarded a full central contract by the ECB, so formally completing his reintegration into the England set-up.

Confirmation that Pietersen had regained official approval was given by England’s limited-overs coach, Ashley Giles, ahead of the opening ODI against India in Rajkot on Friday. His contract, in common with the rest of England’s senior players, will run until September 30.

As England arrived in Rajkot, Giles said: “Kevin has now signed up fully and is fully back on board. It’s great news. It’s great for me to have him, his experience in this part of the world is invaluable.”

Pietersen had been playing on a short-term deal since his relationship deteriorated last summer with the ECB, England’s director of coaching Andy Flower and several senior players, an affair which reached a head when he was dropped for the final Test of the summer against South Africa.

He missed World Twenty20 but returned to England’s Test side for the series in India and his flamboyant 186 in the second Test in Mumbai turned a series that England went on to win 2-1.

Attention will now turn not to Pietersen’s lone stand-offs with the England cricket authorities, but the progress of negotiations on a redrafted central contract which are taking place between the ECB and the Professional Cricketers Association with the aim of reaching agreement before back-to-back Ashes series against Australia later this year. (Cricinfo)

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