Pietersen has been in England exile since being dropped following the second Test against his native South Africa in Leeds last month.
But the ECB did not completely close the door on Pietersen being added to the list for what will be an Ashes year, saying in a statement yesterday: “In respect to Kevin Pietersen discussions are on-going and they remain private.”
Officials, already frustrated by availability rows, were furious when it emerged Pietersen had sent “provocative” texts to South African players — some allegedly critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss.
That meant the 32-year-old batsman missed the final Test against the Proteas at Lord’s and the subsequent one-day series, which ended in a 2-2 draw with one no-result after the tourists’ seven-wicket win at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Pietersen, who last month reversed his retirement from limited overs internationals, will also miss England’s defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka later this month, despite being man of the tournament when they won the 2010 edition in the Caribbean.
Strauss announced his retirement last week, although he insisted it had nothing to do with the latest row involving Pietersen, his predecessor as England skipper.
Alastair Cook, already leading the one-day side, was named as the new Test captain.
He now has a role in deciding Pietersen’s future, although there appears to be little time for the ECB and the player to reach agreement if, as anticipated, the squad for the tour of India starting in November is announced next week.
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