Pietersen saga follows Broad to World Cup

15:21 14 September 2012

Surrey

Surrey's Kevin Pietersen. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Stuart Broad has travelled almost 6,000 miles in under 24 hours - but still cannot get away from questions about Kevin Pietersen.

The latter is absent, of course, from England’s defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown after his summer of contract wrangles with his employers.

But the prodigal Surrey batsman, player-of-the-tournament when England won their first International Cricket Council trophy in this shortest format in the Caribbean two years ago, still looms large.

Conjecture over Pietersen’s presence or otherwise will become feverish again if, as expected, England press on with plans to name their Test squad next Tuesday to tour India.

It is a line of questioning, of course, captain Broad could do without as he tries to fine-tune England’s preparations for a campaign they will begin in earnest next week.

Within hours of touching down in Colombo, and less than two days after leading his country to Twenty20 victory over South Africa at Edgbaston, he found himself answering familiar questions - in familiar vein.

“It’s not something we need to focus on as players,” he said.

“It doesn’t affect what we do on the field; whether you hit the ball for six, or nail your yorker or slower ball. That’s what we’re here to do.”

Pietersen, dropped from last month’s Lord’s Test over his disagreements with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the infamously “provocative” texts he sent to South Africa players at Headingley, is still planning to fly to Sri Lanka himself as a broadcast pundit.

Broad, however, expects his side to take little notice.

“We need to stay very much within our ‘bubble’ as a team. We have a very big one-game mentality.

“We’re going to focus on our warm-up game against Australia, play that, review it and move on; if we focus on those things and don’t let outside influences disrupt us, we may have a really good opportunity.”

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