Kevin Pietersen: Batsman included in provisional England squad for ICC World Twenty20 despite questions over his future

Reports emerged last week that England coach Andy Flower had issued a 'him or me' ultimatum regarding the controversial Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen has been named in England's provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20.

The controversial batsmen's future in the national team has been the topic of much speculation following the humiliating Ashes whitewash, with several sources indicating team director Andy Flower is prepared to jettison him.

While the ECB confirmed in a statement that Pietersen has been initially chosen for the World Twenty20, the 33-year-old is not guaranteed to play in Bangladesh in March as the squad will be halved to a 15-man team following the three-match Twenty20 series against Australia.

England limited overs coach Ashley Giles said there had never been any thought to leave Pietersen out of the squad and described him as a "million dollar asset".

When asked if he and Flower had discussed overlooking the right-hander, he simply replied: "No."

Pietersen was man of the series when England won the World Twenty20 in 2010, but his England future in all formats has been cast into doubt by claims Flower issued a 'him of me' ultimatum to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Flower moved quickly to dismiss those reports as "totally inaccurate" while captain Alastair Cook also confirmed that major decision making would not be made until England return home from Australia early next month.

The final 15-man World Twenty20 squad is due to be named after the tour-ending three-match Twenty20 series, which finishes on February 2.

While Pietersen will be unable to press his claims in the series after being rested, his inclusion in the World Twenty20 squad indicates he remains, for now at least, in England's plans.

The 33-year-old last week reaffirmed his "strong desire" to remain an England player on Twitter.

Elsewhere in the squad, Steven Finn was included despite his early departure from Australia to "continue working on technical aspects of his game".

Finn was the only player in England's initial 17-man Ashes squad not to play in the Test series and has not played a game since.

His hopes of making the final cut would therefore appear in grave doubt - after England limited overs coach Ashley Giles admitted he needed a complete break from the game.

Stuart Broad will skipper England to a World Twenty20 for a second time and, at present, has a squad with eight players without international experience in the shortest format.

Elsewhere in the squad, Steven Finn was included despite his impending early departure from Australia to "continue working on technical aspects of his game".

Finn was the only player in England's initial 17-man Ashes squad not to play in the Test series and has not played a game since.

His hopes of making the final cut would therefore appear in grave doubt, after Giles admitted he needed a complete break from the game.

"At the moment Steven needs a bit of space, in the very short term he probably needs a couple of weeks away from cricket full stop," Giles said.

Stuart Broad will skipper England to a World Twenty20 for a second time and, at present, has a squad with eight players without international experience in the shortest format.

 

PA

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