Stuart Broad yesterday revealed he has not spoken to Kevin Pietersen for more than two months, an assertion that hinted at just how fractured relations between the controversial batsman and his England colleagues has become.
Broad, the England Twenty20 captain, said he had had no contact with his former team-mate since the Test match against South Africa at Headingley at the beginning of August, the last time Pietersen played for England.
Pietersen was then dropped for the final Test of the series after sending a series of provocative texts to opposing South African players. The breakdown in his relationship with team-mates and his England and Wales Cricket Board employers has put his international future in doubt.
However, Pietersen could yet participate in the forthcoming tour to India, which starts in two weeks' time, after agreeing a four-month central contract last week, subject to a "reintegration process".
Broad's comments suggest that process could be a difficult one for all concerned, but he was at pains to point out yesterday that he was willing to rebuild bridges.
"The team have no issues with KP coming back if the management decide he's ready to," Broad said. "It's in their hands at the moment. There are some meetings going on behind closed doors and we're waiting to see the outcome of those. But from the team's perspective his integration will be easy.
"Ultimately, we're playing cricket and we want guys who will score runs and take catches to help England win. Whatever's happened has happened.
"We pride ourselves on being a strong dressing room and I'm sure that if he came back for India or New Zealand, or whenever it is, that things will be fine within the team."
Broad released a statement through the ECB in August denying any involvement in the parody Pietersen Twitter account, named KP Genius, which upset the batsman.
Broad added yesterday: "I've not spoken to Kev since the Headingley Test match, but I'd have no problems playing with him or having a beer with him. It's not an issue. Once the England management have decided when he's available to return, he'll be welcomed back into the changing room.
"We know he's a great cricketer, he's won a lot of trophies and has been a really good team-mate for England, certainly ever since I've been playing for them. We know when KP's focused on playing for England and he's happy, he's a really dangerous player."
Pietersen was absent from England's failed defence of their World Twenty20 title because of the fallout from the discovery of the text messages. Broad admitted he had been missed in Sri Lanka. "It's hard to tell if the results would had been different had he been there," the Nottinghamshire all-rounder said. "Obviously, he's a fantastic Twenty20 cricketer who did wonders for us when we won the World Cup in 2010. In June, when I found out he'd retired from the white-ball format, as captain I was hugely disappointed because I thought he'd be an integral part of our World Cup defence.
"It would be hard for me to say we didn't miss someone of his experience at the top of the order so I was disappointed when he did pull out. But the situation went towards the management side of things and it turned out he couldn't be there."
Yorks reach group stage
Yorkshire progressed to the group stage of the Champions League Twenty20 with a six-wicket win over Trinidad & Tobago at Centurion yesterday.
A stand of 93 between Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin took T&T to 148 for 9. Yorkshire's reply started slowly but Gary Ballance (64 not out) and Adil Rashid (33no) saw them home.
Hampshire earlier went out in losing to Auckland Aces.
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