Pietersen signs full central contract
Kevin Pietersen has signed a full central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board, one-day international and Twenty20 head coach Ashley Giles today confirmed.
Pietersen had been playing on a short-term deal but now, along with England’s other senior players, is contracted until September 30. He has accordingly extended his deal with county side Surrey until that date.
On England’s arrival at Rajkot for Friday’s first one-day international with India, Giles said: "Kevin has now signed up fully and is fully back on board. It's great news. It's great for me to have him, his experience in this part of the world is invaluable."
Despite Pietersen’s presence, England are not at full strength for Giles’ first tour in charge.
James Anderson, Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann have been rested while Stuart Broad is recovering from injury and Jonny Bairstow absent on compassionate grounds.
“The Test team before Christmas was full of guys who had played a lot of cricket; when you have some guys who are lacking experience you need your big guys to step up,” Giles said.
“My job is to take this team forward and that might take time. We are going to look at different players. There are big tournaments coming up where we would hope to have our ’A team’ all the time, but in between we need to look at some of the younger guys because they are our future.
“I think it’s just a function of the era we are playing in. We have to look after our cricketers, particularly with the amount of cricket we have coming up.
“In the next 12-18 months it is imperative we look after our best players, both physically and mentally. If that means occasionally resting them or rotating them out of the side then that is the way it will be.
“But wherever there is injury, or rest, or rotation there is opportunity and it’s up to the young guys to show what they can do.”
Giles’ somewhat inexperienced squad and the challenge of playing in India, where England’s only one-day international series win came in 1984-85, means the new limited-overs head coach is not expecting a honeymoon period.
“Let’s not beat around the bush, it is a huge challenge but one the guys should be looking forward to,” he said. “There will be good and bad times and honeymoon periods don’t necessarily last too long.
“We’ve come here the last two times and lost them both 5-0. We’ve only won one in 18 here so percentages would say we’re up against it, but we’re here to win games of cricket.
“We’re here to develop and find out more about these guys and if at the end of it we lose the series and each player has moved on 5% through the experience then we’re doing our jobs.”
Giles explained the extent of his contact with team director Andy Flower, who is absent from this leg of the India tour as part of England’s new coaching structure.
“I’ve spoken already to Andy, but I wouldn’t want to speak to him every day. I’ve got to be my own man and my own coach, but Andy has great experience at this job and he’s very good at it,” Giles said.
“It is good for me to pick his brains and there are other experienced guys here in a big management team who I can take advice from.”
The series pits Giles against his former England coach Duncan Fletcher, now in charge of India. Fletcher was one of Giles’ greatest allies and the pair were both involved in England’s famous 2005 Ashes win.
“I had a good relationship with Duncan and I don’t see why that should change overnight,” said Giles.
“We both have jobs to do and we will try to do them to the best of our ability. Duncan was influential in my career and one of the reasons I probably went into coaching. He was loyal to me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to give him the series though.”