London: Kevin Pietersen is set to be named in England’s provisional 30-man squad for the World Twenty20 on Wednesday, suggesting his international career is not yet over.
The squad has to be halved by February 16, buying the management time to decide what to do with their best but most divisive player.
Pietersen remains one of the world’s most destructive T20 batsman and adding him to a top order of English hard hitters starring in Australia’s Big Bash strengthens the team for what will be a tough challenge on slow, turning Bangladeshi pitches.
The main focus for the England management is the future of the Test team and Pietersen’s place in that remains in doubt as team director Andy Flower weighs up what changes to make after the 0-5 Ashes whitewash.
Alastair Cook, the England captain, refused to be drawn on Pietersen’s Test future earlier this week after being assured of his own job by Paul Downton, the managing director of England cricket.
Downton has now left the England squad but will take time before delivering his verdict on where it went wrong in Australia and how to move forward. His decision will decide Pietersen’s future and will largely be based on the views of Cook and Flower as well as observing at close quarters the final week of England’s disastrous Ashes series.
England will also name their squad for the short tour of the West Indies next month, a warm-up for the World Twenty20, and Pietersen will have to be part of that trip if he is to feature in Bangladesh.