KP urged to face up to 'sad situation'

PA Sport
Any Flower said it's up to Kevin Pietersen whether he is able to play for England again
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Any Flower said it's up to Kevin Pietersen whether he is able to play for England again

Kevin Pietersen holds the key to whether he ever plays for England again, England coach Andy Flower said.

The South Africa-born batsman's omission from England's defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown, and the squad to face his native country in five one-day internationals and three Twenty20s this month and next, was confirmed on Tuesday morning.

"It's a very sad situation for everyone involved," Andy Flower said. "He played superbly at the last Twenty20 World Cup, but the circumstances that exist at the moment mean he can't be selected for us."

Flower confirmed too that, until Pietersen speaks face to face with his England and Wales Cricket Board employers and management, no progress can be made for his possible re-integration into the team in any format.

England are understood to be significantly concerned about the exact content of text messages Pietersen sent to opposition players during the drawn Test against South Africa at Headingley.

They reportedly included derogatory references to his Test captain Andrew Strauss - and when Pietersen did get round to apologising for them, as the ECB requested, he acknowledged they were "provocative".

It was no surprise that he was left out of both England's final 15 to defend their Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next month, and the 14 names to take on South Africa before then.

The squads were also notable for Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad's absence from the forthcoming ODIs - starting in Cardiff on Friday - to give him a short rest before a packed schedule ahead. Moments after they were announced, Flower voiced his regret that Pietersen had effectively made his position in the England team untenable.

Flower added, however: "Let me be clear - this is not just an issue between the captain and Kevin.

"There are deeper issues, certainly of trust and mutual respect that need to be addressed. There are unresolved issues that have reared their heads in recent weeks, and they have to be resolved before there is any way forward."

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