22nd May: Sunrisers v Rajasthan Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Kevin Pietersen has announced in an interview posted to YouTube that he is now available for England selection in all forms of the game. (Click here to view the video.)
In an unexpected move and on the eve of the announcement of England’s squad for the third Test at Lord’s, Pietersen said, “I want to commit to all forms of cricket for England because I love playing for England. Money is not everything to me. I love winning for England. I loved the runs I scored at Headingley. I can't wait to play in Straussy's 100th Test next week. These things make me happy."
He had previously announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals due to the ECB’s reluctance to allow him to pick and choose series and was also forced to retire from Twenty20 Internationals under the terms of his central contract. This meant that he was likely to be offered a Test-only contract, similar to that which captain Andrew Strauss enjoys, next time the central contracts were up for renewal.
However, that was thrown into doubt by his pointed comments during the post-match interview following his excellent innings at Headingley where he admitted that he may have played his last Test match and hinted at disagreements with team-mates. This speculation over his future only intensified in the days following that match, and leading up to this evening’s announcement, as news at his displeasure over a spoof Twitter account and of disparaging text messages he had sent to South African players about his English team-mates became public knowledge. He has also spoken of his desire to miss some Test cricket for England in order to play a full season in the Indian Premier League.
In the video he seeks to address some of these issues, saying, “There's a press conference I did on Monday which I didn't handle in the right way. I was very emotional. I am who I am. I do make mistakes.
"The mood in the dressing room, in the last 24 hours, has been sorted out. I had a really good long chat with a team-mate of mine yesterday. We went through everything. We went through differences. We went through everything. I finished that conversation a very happy bloke and somebody who can't wait to meet with the team on Tuesday.”
© Cricket World 2012
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