Kevin Pietersen's return delayed as rain ruins final T20 game


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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen must wait until the opening Ashes Test next month to make his first international appearance of the summer after only two balls were possible in England's second Twenty20 international against New Zealand last night.

Pietersen was named in the team for an England game in this country for the first time since the Headingley Test against South Africa last August, after which he was suspended for sending "provocative" messages about the former captain Andrew Strauss to members of the opposition.

The rain denied The Oval crowd a game and prevented Pietersen from having further match practice, on his 33rd birthday. He should play for England in the four-day Ashes warm-up match against Essex, which starts at Chelmsford on Sunday.

Pietersen was included but England were without Eoin Morgan, who broke a finger during the Champions Trophy, an injury the batsman said would require an operation today and would keep him out for up to three weeks. James Tredwell was made captain in Morgan's absence.