• England insisted Pietersen should deal with issue of texts
Kevin Pietersen has finally agreed to admit to and apologise for the texts he sent to members of the South Africa team during last week's second Test at Headingley, which led to him being dropped for the third Test that starts at Lord's on Thursday.
That could clear the way for him to make a dramatic return to the team for their defence of the world Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next month. Pietersen has already admitted he "made mistakes" in his emotional press conference after being named man of the match at Headingley last Monday week and rescinded the retirement from 50-over internationals that prevented him playing in T20.
But England had insisted on him tackling the issue of the texts, which are understood to include criticism of Andrew Strauss and therefore marked a new low in his relationship with the rest of the team.
Stuart Broad was used as an example of England's determination to show that they are not guilty of double standards or victimising Kevin Pietersen when he had to make a statement on Tuesday denying any involvement in the spoof KP Genius Twitter account.
Broad, who will lead England's defence of the world Twenty20 title, had been linked to the spoof account by allies of Pietersen, including Piers Morgan, when it emerged it had been set up by a Nottingham scientist to whom Broad lent a pair of rugby socks on the same day last month.
They argued that Broad's endorsement, and even involvement, in mocking a team-mate through KP Genius would be the same sort of offence as the texts undermining Strauss, which Pietersen allegedly sent to members of the South Africa team during the second Test.
The England and Wales Cricket Board was sufficiently concerned to summon Broad to meet Hugh Morris, the managing director of cricket, on Tuesday morning. But crucially, he was happy to make a public denial of any involvement in KP Genius.
"Following last night's statement by Mr Richard Bailey that he was responsible for creating a parody Twitter account in Kevin Pietersen's name, I would like to confirm that I had no involvement in this whatsoever," Broad said in a statement released by the ECB. "I met with the managing director, England Cricket, Hugh Morris, this morning and assured him that I did not play any role in the creation of this account or provide Mr Bailey with any information regarding Kevin Pietersen or the England team.
"As has been widely reported Mr Bailey is a friend of mine but we had no conversations regarding this issue at all and I am pleased that he has now decided to close the parody account down."
Morris was said to be "fully satisfied that [Broad] acted in a professional manner at all times and did not breach any confidences regarding fellow England players. ECB also accepts the apology Mr Bailey offered on Tuesday night to the England team via his Twitter account and his reassurances that no professional cricketers were involved in the creation of this site."
Pietersen has declined the opportunity to turn out for Surrey, his county employers who are struggling in the County Championship, in their derby fixture against Middlesex which starts at The Oval on Wednesday, as talks continue between the ECB and his management.
Tim Bresnan followed a number of other England players by stressing that the team are confident in their ability to thrive without Pietersen in Test cricket as they did in 50-over and Twenty20 matches following his one-day retirement earlier this summer. But Jacques Kallis, an old friend of Pietersen's who has become a regular international adversary over the last seven years, argued that England "are going to miss his experience, for sure".