Kevin Pietersen’s Test future may be in doubt, but the mercurial batsman was on Wednesday named in England’s provisional 30-member squad for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
A swashbuckling batsman who polarizes opinion, Pietersen was targeted for criticism after England’s 5-0 Ashes surrender in Australia, despite being the highest run-scorer from his side.
Coach Andy Flower had to issue a statement earlier this month denying a dressing-room rift, after British media claimed he had threatened to quit if the South Africa-born batsman continued to be part of the team’s rebuilding process.
Captain Alistair Cook has also ducked questions concerning Pietersen’s Test future, but the 33-year-old’s international career looks far from over after selectors opted to consider the use of his hard-hitting prowess in Bangladesh.
“The squad will be halved to a final 15-member party following the three match T20 series against Australia beginning on Jan. 29,” the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
Pietersen has been rested from England’s limited-overs series in Australia.
Led by Stuart Broad, 2010 champions England are to begin their quest for a second title with a March 22 match against New Zealand at Chittagong.
The provisional squad are:
Stuart Broad (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Craig Kieswetter, 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 and Luke Wright.