Flower hopeful of Pietersen solution

England hope to resolve the Kevin Pietersen saga in a positive way in the next 36 hours

England hope to resolve the Kevin Pietersen saga in a positive way in the next 36 hours

First published in National Sport News © by

England team director Andy Flower is hopeful of a positive resolution to the Kevin Pietersen saga in the next 36 hours.

Pietersen has not played for England since making 149 in the second Investec Test against South Africa in August after a storm over his text messages to South Africa players which allegedly contained "derogatory" references to Andrew Strauss. That saw him miss out on their failed World Twenty20 title defence, the upcoming tour of India and a central contract for the new season.

But Flower is optimistic an agreement has finally been reached, and he said: "The situation is ongoing. I think it's nearing an end now - in a positive way, I hope."

He added: "There's been a lot of formal communication between the ECB and Kevin, and there will be a press conference I would imagine in the next 36 hours which will enlighten you a little further."

The expectation of an imminent reconciliation has even led to speculation Pietersen could be added to the party travelling to India later this month.

Flower did not rule out such an eventuality but would not be drawn on the specific details of Pietersen's likely return.

"We don't close doors to anyone," he said. "If we get over that first stage first and get some of the formal legal proceedings out of the way, then we'll get on to the cricket thereafter."

England's top order, shorn of Pietersen's presence, failed to produce the runs required in Sri Lanka as the reigning champions' participation in the World Twenty20 ended at the Super Eight stage with defeat by the hosts.

And Flower admitted: "Last night was a quarter-final, effectively, and we weren't good enough to beat Sri Lanka on their home soil.

"There were little sparks of positive play but they were more streetwise than us and obviously deserved to win the game. It's sad that we're leaving this early, but that is the fact of life."

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