Kevin Pietersen was left out of England’s World Twenty20 squad announced yesterday, as his international cricket exile continued.
The South Africa-born batsman was the man of the tournament when England won the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean — the first time they had lifted a major piece of International Cricket Council silverware — but he was dropped from the England team that lost the third Test against South Africa at Lord’s by 51 runs on Monday after sending “provocative” text messages, allegedly criticizing England Test captain Andrew Strauss, to South Africa’s players.
Pietersen, who recently made himself available again for all international cricket after retiring from one-day internationals, was also left out of England’s squad for the forthcoming one-day and Twenty20 series against South Africa starting in Cardiff, Wales, on Friday.
England national selector Geoff Miller, explaining Pietersen’s omission from the one-day and Twenty20 squads to play South Africa, said: “Kevin Pietersen’s future involvement is still being determined and he was therefore not considered for selection in either squad.”
The World Twenty20 starts in Sri Lanka next month, with England beginning the defense of their title against Afghanistan on Sept. 21.
England’s most recent Twenty20 match saw them beat the West Indies by seven wickets at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England, in June, with Alex Hales, taking the opener’s spot vacated by Pietersen, making 99.
The 15-man squad announced yesterday contains eight survivors from the 2010 party, including seamer Stuart Broad, now the captain, off-spinner Graeme Swann and wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter, who made 63 in the seven-wicket win over Australia in the final in Barbados.
Promising players such as Jonathan Bairstow, who scored 95 and 54 in Pietersen’s absence during the third Test, Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs and Somerset batsman Jos Buttler have also been included.
“We are very much looking forward to beginning the defense of our World T20 title next month,” former England off-spinner Miller said. “We know that it will take exceptional cricket to retain the trophy and that begins with the first match against Afghanistan. This is a very balanced squad combining experienced players with some young talent, who have done well at both international and domestic level this season, and who are all very excited by the challenges ahead in Sri Lanka.”
Broad, a regular for England in all three formats of the game, has been rested from the five 50-over one-day internationals against South Africa, with Miller saying this was in the best interests of both the player and the team.
England World Twenty20 squad: Stuart Broad (captain), Jonathan Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wicketkeeper), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann and Luke Wright.