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Hope floats for Pietersen

cricket Updated: Sep 04, 2012 00:01 IST

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Kevin Pietersen has been given hope of a return from international exile after two England stars claimed the controversial batsman would be welcomed back into the squad.

Pietersen was dropped by England after falling out with captain Andrew Strauss and his team-mates following a series of behind the scenes incidents.

The 32-year-old enraged his colleagues, who were already frustrated by his rows with England chiefs over his desire to play less one-day cricket, by sending provocative text messages to South African players that contained criticism of Strauss and coach Andy Flower.

As punishment for his behaviour, Pietersen was axed from the final Test against South Africa, the subsequent one-day series and will also be absent from England's defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown.