ECB could be ready to offer axed Pietersen new contract… but peace will be fragile at best
21:30 GMT, 29 September 2012
England may be ready to offer Kevin Pietersen a new 12-month contract, but any arrangement to bring the player out of exile is likely to be no more than a marriage of convenience.
Reports have suggested that the parties are close to agreement and a deal to resolve the issues surrounding Pietersen's exile from international duty is imminent.
The England Cricket Board insist they
are under no time pressure even though Pietersen becomes a free agent
from midnight on Sunday when his existing contract expires.
Hope: Kevin Pietersen could be offered a new deal by the ECB
Any offer of a new contract would first need to be ratified by the ECB executive committee and they are keen to let coach Andy Flower and his team finish the World T20 before any announcement.
But any peace is likely to be fragile, at best.
Suggestions that the ECB may feel they have no choice but to offer him a contract or risk legal action against them for unfair dismissal have increased the hope inside Pietersen's camp that negotiations may let him be selected for the one-day games on the India tour – or at least the Test tour to New Zealand.
But Flower and England seem some way from being convinced the batsman's new commitment to the cause is not mere pragmatism.