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Pietersen Rejoins England Cricket Squad After Text-Message Row

Kevin Pietersen, who was dropped by England’s cricket team for sending “provocative” text messages to opposition players, has been added to the squad for the forthcoming tour of India.

The decision to reinstate the 32-year-old South Africa-born batsman came after he met with captain Alastair Cook, coach Andy Flower and other senior players this week.

“The meetings were constructive and cordial and all outstanding issues have been resolved,” said England Cricket Managing Director Hugh Morris. The England and Wales Cricket Board said earlier this month Pietersen would be considered for selection again after he made an official apology.

Pietersen was banished from the team after sending what he said could be called “provocative” text messages to friends on the South African squad during this summer’s Test series between the teams. The Proteas won 2-0 to leapfrog England atop the world cricket standings. After scoring a century in the second Test at Headingley he acknowledged there were problems “in the dressing-room.”

Pietersen, one of the sport’s best-known players, was subsequently left out of the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen apologized to former captain Andrew Strauss, who quit after the defeat to South Africa, and assured the ECB the texts didn’t criticize Strauss or other England cricket officials or players. He said he deleted the messages. Pietersen on Oct. 3 signed a new four-month contract that included a “reintegration period” before he could be restored to the team.

Topped Rankings

Since making his Test debut against Australia in 2005, Pietersen has been among England’s top performers, helping it spend a year atop the rankings for the five-day format of the game. His explosive batting in cricket’s shorter formats has also led to lucrative contracts to play in the Indian Premier League, cricket’s richest competition.

Pietersen is currently in South Africa playing in the Champions League Twenty20 for the Delhi Daredevils, the team that bought his services this season for $2 million.

“We are pleased to welcome a player of Kevin’s proven international caliber back into the Test squad for such an important Test series,” national selector Geoff Miller said. “Kevin will join up with the squad as soon as his Champions League commitments are complete.”

England plays the first of its four Tests against India in Ahmedabad on Nov. 15. The teams will later meet in two Twenty20 games and five one-day internationals.

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