England call up Pietersen for one-day series

Having had six months to contemplate the tough nature of their winter assignment England's selectors decided yesterday that they needed an extra player. They called up Kevin Pietersen to the one-day squad which will play seven one-day matches at the end of the Test series against South Africa.

Having had six months to contemplate the tough nature of their winter assignment England's selectors decided yesterday that they needed an extra player. They called up Kevin Pietersen to the one-day squad which will play seven one-day matches at the end of the Test series against South Africa.

This either represented fairly hopeless planning or something much more mysterious, and the conspiracy theory won the day. The favourite speculation is that Andrew Flintoff, the beating heart of England's one-day team, is actually suffering much more from his side strain than medical bulletins say and will fly home to recuperate before the onset of the limited overs matches.

Since Flintoff has been passed fit for this Test to bowl as well as bat (though he has not yet done any of the former and has so far done precious little of the latter) such a hypothesis may not hold much water. But the tone of the comments from David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, did little to discourage it.

"We feel that it's right to call Kevin Pietersen up to the squad for the seven one-day internationals following hard on the heels of an intensive Test series," he said. "Kevin had an encouraging start to his international career in Zimbabwe and we feel his inclusion will give the captain and coach another option if they think a different balance to the side is required." Such matters as balance could easily have been thought of when the team was being picked in September.

For Pietersen, the selection is an opportunity to fulfil at least part of his dream. He left his native South Africa in somewhat controversial circumstances four years ago to qualify for England, berating the quota system that operated in KwaZulu Natal and guaranteed places to black players. He has since declared lifelong and undying love for England and moved counties from Nottinghamshire to Hampshire. He made 104 runs in his three innings against Zimbabwe late last year.

Throughout his qualification period he had aspired to be picked for the tour of South Africa this winter, and was decidedly miffed to have been overlooked by the selectors. He is bound to be given a hot reception by his former compatriots. Shaun Pollock, the South Africa all-rounder, remembered playing with him in Durban. "He was mainly an off-spinner then who batted at nine or 10. He must have changed things." It promises to be fun.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence