Calcutta/London: As expected, Kevin Pietersen has been named in England’s provisional 30-member squad for the World T20. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has also named four uncapped players in the squad.
Pietersen’s selection suggests his international career is alive, for the time being, but the key date will be at the end of the current tour to Australia when England will name their squad for next month’s trip to the West Indies and trim the 30-man World T20 list down to the final 15.
As one of the world’s best T20 players it would have been a major shock if Pietersen had not been chosen in the provisional 30, and a signal his England career is at an end. But now he faces the prospect of returning to the side for the World T20, in Bangladesh, in March, where his experience in Asian conditions could be crucial.
“We have just announced a 30-man squad for T20 World Cup and he is in that,” confirmed Ashley Giles, the England one-day coach. “He has been a fantastic player for England over a number of years.
“He has not played a huge amount of T20 and one-day cricket of late… But at the moment we have named 30, we will see how it goes when we trim it.
“He is a million-pound asset at least… Actually Kev might be worth more than that. He has shown in T20 cricket how dangerous he can be.”
Giles confirmed Andy Flower was involved in the selection of the squad and at no stage was leaving Pietersen out discussed.
The squad contains few surprises, although the inclusion of Steven Finn is optimistic given the fact Giles also confirmed he will be flying home early from the Australia tour due to his poor form.
“Steven is one of our most talented bowling assets who has played and will continue to play an important role for England,” Giles said of the fast bowler.
It remains to be seen whether any of the four new faces — Moeen Ali, Harry Gurney, Steven Parry and James Vince — will make the final cut. Moeen Ali had a good year for Worcestershire last year with more Championship runs than any other player in the country, 1,375, and also offers a second string with his off-spin.
Stuart Broad (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler (wkt), Michael Carberry, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Craig Kieswetter (wkt), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Steven Parry, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright.