Kevin Pietersen aims to show England what they have been missing — and what they might soon be getting again — when he returns to action for the Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League Twenty20 competition in South Africa today.
The controversial 32-year-old batting star spent the past month commentating on the ICC World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka, but now it is time for him to get out in the middle again and do what he does best.
Delhi start the group stages here against the Kolkata Knight Riders, but how long Pietersen is with them could depend on the reintegration process he has agreed to prior to an England comeback.
In what he has called “a horrible situation for all involved”, Pietersen has not been part of the international set-up since it was revealed he had sent text messages to South Africa players during the summer series.
Last week the England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement saying Pietersen would undertake a programme of reintegration after which selectors “will consider Kevin for future matches”.
He in turn stated: “I’d just like to take this opportunity to apologise to my teammates and all the England supporters.
“Thankfully we have drawn a line under it and it’s time to move forward.
“Playing cricket for England is the pinnacle of any cricketer’s career and I want an opportunity to do that again as soon as possible. Some of my proudest and best moments of my life have been in an England shirt and I want them to continue for as long as possible.
“I’m entirely committed to completing the reintegration process we have agreed over the coming weeks and resuming my career in all formats.”
Not before Christmas
England, now with Alastair Cook as Test captain in place of the retired Andrew Strauss, fly out in less than a fortnight for a tour of India and while Pietersen is not expected back for the four Tests and two Twenty20 games before Christmas, the five-match one-day series at the start of January is seen as a possibility.
Stuart Broad, captain of the T20 side unable to retain their world title, said earlier this week: “The team have no issues with KP coming back if the management decide he’s ready to.
“It’s in their hands at the moment. There are some meetings going on behind closed doors and we’re waiting to see the outcome of those, but from the team’s perspective his integration will be easy.
“Ultimately we’re playing cricket and we want guys who will score runs and take catches to help England win. We pride ourselves on being a strong dressing room and I’m sure that if he came back for India or New Zealand, or whenever it is, that things will be fine within the team.”
— PA Sport