COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, October 3 – Axed England batsman Kevin Pietersen is set to play international cricket again after reaching an agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board, the ECB said on Wednesday.
“The ECB and Kevin Pietersen confirm that agreement has been reached concerning a process for his re-integration into the England team during the remainder of 2012,” the ECB said in a statement.
“Upon completion of the programme, the England selectors will consider Kevin for future matches.”
The 32-year-old star batsman was cast into international exile in August after sending text messages to touring South Africa players that contained criticism of then England captain Andrew Strauss during the Test series.
He missed out on England’s failed World Twenty20 title defence in Sri Lanka and was not also selected for the upcoming tour of India.
The ECB confirmed reports that Pietersen had apologised to Strauss for what he admitted were “provocative” messages to the South African players.
“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,” the statement continued.
“He now wishes to put the events of the summer behind him and to focus on regaining his place in the England team.
“Kevin conceded that the messages exchanged were provocative. The 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 (Andy Flower), the ECB or employees of the ECB.
“Furthermore, there was no tactical information whatsoever provided to members of the South African touring party.”
It was unclear if Pietersen, who is in Sri Lanka working as a studio expert for the host broadcaster for the World Twenty20, will be considered for the Indian tour starting next month.
Defending champions England failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament.
Pietersen was also due to attend an ECB briefing for a select group of travelling English journalists in Colombo on Wednesday.
Pietersen, born in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, has played 88 Tests, 127 one-day matches and 36 Twenty20 internationals for England since his debut in November, 2004.
The accomplished batsman has scored 7,076 Test runs at an average of 49.48 with 21 centuries and 27 half-centuries.
He also has 4,184 one-day runs with nine hundreds and was man of the tournament when England won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in 2010.
Flower, asked on Monday if Pietersen had been missed in Sri Lanka, said: “Of course, but he wasn’t available for this tournament when we selected the side.”