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England preparing to cope without KP

Barbados: England will be without their star batsman Kevin Pietersen if they cruise to the final of World Twenty20. He has been given permission to fly home to attend the birth of his first child.

Pietersen travelled to Guyana Friday night with the rest of the England side to prepare for Monday’s opening match against the West Indies.

After that it is only 13 days before the final is held in Barbados.

The England management have given him permission to return and have informally asked if they can fly in a replacement, which has tested the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) views on paternity leave.

The Telegraph reported that sources indicated Friday that they could name a replacement but Pietersen would not be able to return.

"I`m definitely going to be there or at least be there as quick as I can," said Pietersen. "The only worry is I won`t get back in time. I love playing cricket and we understand it is my job, it is what I do.

"I have discussed the situation with a few players and they say as long as you are making an effort and see the kid as soon as you can then, if you do miss it then it is not a massive regret, but I`m going to make every effort."

The problem is that Pietersen appears to have rediscovered his lost touch despite a golden duck against South Africa Thursday.

The Achilles injury that ended his Ashes series cast a long shadow over winter tours to South Africa and Bangladesh but the Indian Premier League provided the first glimpse of the Pietersen of old.

IANS

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