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Cricket: Pietersen left off England contract list

LONDON:  There was no place for Kevin Pietersen among the 10 England players awarded central contracts by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the 2013 season.
Pietersen has been in England exile since being dropped, following the second Test against his native South Africa in Leeds last month. But the ECB did not completely close the door on Pietersen being added to the list for what will be an Ashes year, saying, “Pietersen discussions are on-going and they remain private.”
Officials, already frustrated by availability rows, were furious when it emerged Pietersen had sent ‘provocative’ texts to South African players – some allegedly critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss. That meant the 32-year-old batsman missed the final Test against the Proteas at Lord’s and the subsequent one-day series, which ended in a 2-2 draw with one no-result, after the tourists’ seven-wicket win at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Pietersen, who last month reversed his retirement from limited overs internationals, will also miss England’s defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka later this month, despite being man of the tournament when they won the 2010 edition in the Caribbean. Pietersen has been contracted to the ECB since 2006 and is in the top bracket of the pay scale, with a deal reportedly worth £250,000 a year in basic salary, but rising substantially with win bonuses and appearance fees.
“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,” said national selector Geoff Miller.
Pietersen’s absence won’t hurt England: Broad
Meanwhile, Pietersen’s absence will not overshadow the upcoming series with South Africa and the defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka, according to England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad.
“The planning started, for these Twenty20 games and the World Twenty20, from Trent Bridge,” Broad told Sky Sports News. “Pietersen had made himself unavailable and his replacement came in and got the highest score for an English batsman. The planning had already been set in place, Alex Hales came in and did very well and that`s what we`ve been focusing on. We`ve got a great squad here and we`re really excited about the next month. We`ve got guys who are hungry and keen to develop their skills, and going to Sri Lanka we`re very excited to do that.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2012.


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