Pietersen handed 'surprise recall' for T20 series against Black Caps to prove Ashes fitness

London, June 21 (ANI): Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been reportedly handed a surprise recall to make his England comeback in the second of next week's two Twenty20 matches against New Zealand at the Oval, to prove his fitness in time to face Australia in the Ashes.

Following a knee injury which has kept him out of all cricket since March, the Surrey batsman is expected to make his domestic comeback against Yorkshire at Headingley in an LV= County Championship match, the Mirror reports.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that Pietersen is part of the 14-man squad to face the Kiwis under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan, with the report adding that the squad is missing England's regular Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad as well as the majority of the likely first-choice squad for this summer's Ashes.

According to the report, although Pietersen looked set to have just two matches, the county one and then England's four-day Ashes warm-up at Essex starting a week on Sunday to prove his fitness, however, England have chosen to also schedule the second match against New Zealand as an extra opportunity to assess their most talented batsman's well-being.

Stating that it would be good for him to get some international exposure, Pietersen said that it would be a perfect opportunity for him to prove that he is back on the field.

According to national selector Geoffrey Miller, the ECB has selected a squad with ample Twenty20 experience, as well as young players new to the international game, adding that the board is aware that they need to manage the workloads of the players throughout the summer, given the intense period of cricket coming up.

According to Miller, the NatWest series gives an opportunity for players who have performed well in domestic cricket and on the England performance programme to step up and test themselves in an international environment. (ANI)

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