London: England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad has said the absence of Kevin Pietersen will not overshadow the upcoming series with South Africa and the defence of their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has not included Pietersen’s name in the list of players who have given a central contract for the 2012-13 season.
The batsman is out of favour following a dispute over the alleged content of text messages he sent to the members of the South Africa squad during the recent Test series, with his future still no clearer despite the retirement of captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen, England`s Man of the Tournament when they won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean two years ago, did announce his limited overs retirement earlier this season, but then changed his mind and made himself available for all formats again.
England now face South Africa in three Twenty20s, starting at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, Sport24 reports.
Broad told Sky Sports News: “The planning started, for these (Twenty20) games and the (Twenty20) World Cup, from Trent Bridge. KP (Pietersen) had made himself unavailable for the World Cup and his replacement came in and got the highest score for an English batsman.”
“The planning had already been set in place, Alex Hales came in and did very well and that`s what we`ve been focusing on. We`ve got a great squad here and we`re really excited about the next month," the all-rounder added. "We`ve got guys who are hungry and keen to develop their skills, and going to Sri Lanka we`re very excited to do that.”