Kevin Pietersen omitted from England's ICC World Twenty20 squad


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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen remains in limited-overs international retirement, following his absence today from England's 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20.

Pietersen's representatives have been in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board, aimed at agreeing a compromise deal for him to cancel the shock retirement he announced last month from the shorter formats of international cricket.

His primary motivation appeared to be to arrange a mechanism for his Twenty20 return in time to be part of England's defence of the only International Cricket Council global trophy they have ever won.

But those negotiations have not come to fruition in time for Pietersen to be named in a preliminary squad, which will be pared down to 15 next month, for England's campaign in Sri Lanka in September.

Pietersen's is by far the most notable omission.

Among those included in the squad, announced for this afternoon's mandatory deadline, are England's one-day international captain Alastair Cook, Surrey off-spinner Gareth Batty and Test wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Cook stayed on for England's Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last winter, on the back of strong ODI form, but has not played for his country in the shortest format for almost three years.

Young Yorkshireman Joe Root and his fellow batsman Steven Croft, from Lancashire, are the only uncapped players in the squad.

Captain Andrew Strauss has reiterated England are fully focused on beating South Africa in the Test series which begins at The Oval tomorrow.

Suggestions have been made that Pietersen's limited overs retirement has been an unwelcome distraction as England bid to defend their place at the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings.

However, Strauss has refuted claims the situation has affected morale in England's camp ahead of the first Test tomorrow.

"The conversations that Kevin's been having are between himself and his representatives on the board," Strauss said on Sky Sports News.

"The players haven't been involved, the management haven't been involved and that's the way we'd like it to remain.

"It hasn't been a distraction to us, it's something that hasn't entered our thinking and it's allowed us to concentrate properly on this game.

"Kevin as much as anyone is determined to do well in this series and I haven't seen any signs in his preparation to suggest he's in any way distracted by what's going on."

England's provisional 30-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in September:

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) (Capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Gareth Batty (Surrey), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Scott Borthwick (Durham), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Croft (Lancashire), Steven Davies (Surrey), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Matt Prior (Sussex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).