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Pietersen, Ballance, Rankin In England T20 Squad

Kevin Pietersen hits a shot for England
Pietersen, Ballance, Rankin In England T20 Squad
©REUTERS / Action Images

Kevin Pietersen is poised to make his England comeback following a long period on the sidelines due to injury after being named in a 14-man squad to play two Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand.

Pietersen, who has not featured for England since March due to a knee injury, will only be available for the second match, on 27th June at The Oval, provided he gets through Surrey's LV County Championship game against Yorkshire, which starts tomorrow (21st June).

Yorkshire's Zimbabwe-born batsman Gary Ballance and Warwickshire's former Ireland international fast bowler Boyd Rankin are the two uncapped members of the squad which will be captained by Eoin Morgan in the absence of Stuart Broad.

Ballance and Rankin have both recently turned out for the England Lions having committed themselves to playing for England and are likely to get their chance, either on 25th or 27th June.

"We have selected a squad with plenty of T20 experience as well as young players new to the international game," National Selector Geoff Miller said.

"With an intense period of cricket coming up we are conscious that we need to manage the workloads of our players throughout the summer and this NatWest series gives an opportunity for players who have performed well in domestic cricket and on the England Performance Programme and with the Lions to step up and test themselves in an international environment.

"New Zealand are a talented limited overs side and with a World T20 competition less than a year away this series gives us a chance to look at a number of different options."

Broad, along with James Anderson, , Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Joe Root and Graeme Swann have been rested for the two matches while there is a recall for Ben Stokes as Jonathan Bairstow and Stuart Meaker miss out from the squad that took on New Zealand away from home earlier this year.

England Twenty20 International squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Gary Ballance, Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Kevin Pietersen (second game only), Boyd Rankin, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright

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