LONDON - Kevin Pietersen will return to the England fold for the upcoming tour of India, the ECB announced Thursday, following his exile from the squad for sending provocative texts to opposition players.
The decision came after the star batsman met with England coach Andy Flower, Test captain Alastair Cook and other senior players and managers this week to finalise his reintegration into the side.
The Surrey batsman was cast into international exile in August after sending text messages to touring South Africa players that contained criticism of then-England captain Andrew Strauss during the Test series.
The 32-year-old was dropped for the final Test and missed the One-Day series against South Africa and England's failed defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka, while Strauss retired from all forms of cricket.
Pietersen has since apologised for his behaviour and signed a new central contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board after agreeing to enter a "re-integration" process.
"We were keen that Kevin should hold a series of face-to-face meetings with team management and senior players before the Test squad departs for the United Arab Emirates and India next week," said ECB managing director Hugh Morris.
"The meetings were constructive and cordial and all outstanding issues have been resolved. All the England players and management are now keen to draw a line under this matter and fully focus on the cricketing challenge that lies ahead in India."
Pietersen is playing with the Delhi Daredevils at the Champions League Twenty20 tournament being held in South Africa. The final is scheduled for October 28. "We are pleased to welcome a player of Kevin's proven international calibre back into the Test squad for such an important series," added ECB national selector Geoff Miller.
"As we anticipate that Ian Bell will return home for the birth of his first child around the time of the second Test in Mumbai, the team will benefit from having an extra batsman in the squad and all players who were originally selected for the tour will fly out as planned next week. "Kevin will join up with the squad as soon as his Champions League commitments are complete."