Alastair Cook hopes Kevin Pietersen rift can be healed


There remain "issues to be resolved" before Kevin Pietersen can play for England again according to Alastair Cook, the new Test captain.

Cook has met with Pietersen and confirmed yesterday discussions between the player and senior England management are ongoing in Sri Lanka in an attempt to find a solution – but there is still ground to make up.

Cook, who will lead his first Test tour to India at the end of next month, described Pietersen's absence from the squad as "sad", but does not regard it necessarily as a full stop to his England career.

"I did have a meeting with Kev and I've been involved with [other] meetings as well," said Cook. "Clearly the issues haven't been resolved and that's why he hasn't been made available for selection at the moment. Time, hopefully, will be a healer and we will be able to move on."

Cook refused to be drawn on what the issues are. "That is private and I can't talk about it," he said. "For the best outcome possible we can't be talking about it. The meetings are still going on in Sri Lanka. When the issue gets resolved – if the issue gets resolved – hopefully, he can come back and play for England. At the moment that can't happen. We're trying to do it behind closed doors to get the best possible outcome."

Cook, who since his appointment has spoken with Andrew Strauss, his predecessor, about the Test job, accepts Pietersen's absence is a loss but pointed to the manner in which he first broke into the Test side as an example of the opportunity available to batting newcomers Joe Root and Nick Compton.

"It's a sad circumstance at the moment," said Cook. "He is a world-class player and he's not playing for England at this precise moment in time. He will be missed but it gives another person an opportunity.

"We're going on this tour to win. We've got to look forward as a side. We have 16 players. We have to get on that plane, look forward to that two months and not look back."

Cook scored a century on his debut as a last-minute replacement for the opening Test of the 2006 series in Nagpur after Marcus Trescothick flew home suffering from depression. "Tres came home from India in 2006 and he would certainly have been missed in that side," said Cook, who will go on a delayed honeymoon to Argentina before heading for India.

"Everyone was probably thinking 'who is this 21-year-old from Essex – he's never going to be as good as Tres.' And I wasn't but it gives another person an opportunity and they can do well. There's no reason why those guys can't fill the gap."

Pietersen is currently in Sri Lanka, working as a television pundit during the World Twenty20. David Collier, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and Hugh Morris, managing director of the England team, are all present in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen was offered a four-month contract that would have included him attending the Test squad's pre-India tour training camp in Dubai towards the end of October.

It was designed to be the first step in repairing any damaged relations with other players, but no agreement was reached. Earlier this week there were suggestions the ECB had begun negotiations with Pietersen over a possible 12-month central contract.

Alastair Cook is supporting Buxton's Less Is Best campaign. Pledge to lessen your environmental impact and win 2013 Ashes tickets at

Big bash rivals ready to splash the cash for KP

Kevin Pietersen is a target for Big Bash League side Melbourne Renegades, their chief executive, Stuart Coventry, has confirmed. Coventry is hoping to set up a meeting with Pietersen at the World Twenty20 to assess his availability for the Australian T20 league in light of the batsman's continued absence from the England squad.

Pietersen is working at the tournament as an analyst for ESPN Star Sports and Coventry, who is heading to Sri Lanka to scout players, says both his side and the Sydney Sixers are keen to talk to the 32-year-old.

"If we can get someone who stands up at the World Twenty20 that is our first priority but, now that Kevin Pietersen is back in the mix, there's no doubt we and the Sixers have been having some dialogue with his management," Coventry said. "I'd like to, but I think I would want to get an indication first about his availability before talking further.

"If he is available we'd love to grab him."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back