England ready to forgive Pietersen
"We need to talk about Kevin" was not just a movie title to England cricket fans this summer. The 2012 season has been all about Kevin Pietersen’s spectacular falling out with the England management and team-mates, reaching a nadir when he sent text-messages to the South African opposition, allegedly derogatory about his captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen and the ECB now seem to have come up with a deal that will allow the batsman to return to the England team, probably in time for the Test tour of India. The player and ECB boss Giles Clarke announced a "process for reintegration".
"It's been a horrible situation for all involved," Pietersen said. "I'm glad we're here today drawing a line under everything, and hopefully moving forward. I want to play for England as soon as I can. I believe that all being well I'll be back in an England shirt as soon as possible. We're all human beings, and we all make mistakes. I want my son growing up seeing me playing for England."
England missed Pietersen in their failed Twenty20 campaign and need his experience against India. Although Strauss has retired, it might be difficult for Pietersen to regain the trust of some senior England players.
Pietersen has assured the ECB that the texts were not critical of Strauss and they have accepted his word. Pietersen has plenty of personal charm and a passion for Test cricket. Whether they will be enough to earn him a warm welcome back into the Test team remains to be seen.