England's delay in naming squad fuels KP return rumours

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 13, 2012 06:55 hrs

England selectors have delayed the announcement of the squad that would tour India till next week, and the decision has fueled speculations that controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen might be recalled in the team.

The announcement of the tour party had been due on Thursday, but it has now been put back to next Tuesday, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that it is to allow for further deliberation of the Pietersen problem, according to the Guardian.

Team director, Andy Flower, will be in Colombo by then, but the new Test captain, Alastair Cook, is going nowhere, and it is thought that he has been the key figure in this unexpected turn of events, the paper adds.

Cook's relationship with Pietersen goes back a fair way and he would obviously prefer to have him in the middle order for such an exacting challenge in his first series since succeeding Andrew Strauss as captain, the paper said.

But, Cook will also have to convince the senior members of the England dressing room with whom Pietersen's relationship, which was rarely warm, has completely broken down this summer, the paper further added.

The situation could still go either way, with many figures in the England setup having been unimpressed by Pietersen's behaviour in recent months, the paper further said.

Besides Flower and the rest of his coaching staff, his recall would have to be approved by the managing director of England cricket, Hugh Morris, the national selector, Geoff Miller and his colleagues Ashley Giles and James Whitaker, and even Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ECB, the paper said.

That leaves plenty of room for division, which may explain why when it comes to Pietersen, England's indecision remains final, the paper concluded.

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