Kevin Pietersen will be slowly reintegrated into the England team after the star batsman settled his drawn out rift with team management, earning him a new central contract.
Pietersen has been out of favour with England since being dropped for sending provocative texts to South Africa players about then Test captain Andrew Strauss during a Test series in August, disrupting the unity of the team.
“It’s been a horrible situation for all involved, but it is time to move forward,” Pietersen said at a news conference in Colombo on Wednesday. “All being well, I’ll be back in an England shirt as soon as possible.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement minutes earlier saying Pietersen would undertake a program of reintegration after which selectors “will consider Kevin for future matches.”
Pietersen isn’t expected to be recalled in time for the start of the upcoming tour of India, with England flying out on October 25. The five-match one-day series against the Indians at the start of January is a possible return date, although it is more likely he will be back for England when the team travels to New Zealand in February for a two-month tour.
“I want my son growing up seeing me playing for England and I hope one day he will put an England shirt on himself,” Pietersen said.
Pietersen has agreed on a short-term central contract, which can be extended to September 30 2013 “on the completion of the reintegration program,” ECB chairman Giles Clarke said.
“Kevin Pietersen has apologised to Andrew Strauss and wishes to express to all those who support England his regrets at the impact the recent controversies have had on the England team,” the ECB statement read.