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Flower blames IPL

Twenty20 tournament cited as the catalyst to KP's fall from grace

Andy Flower: Claims the IPL was the catalyst to the KP saga

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Andy Flower believes Kevin Pietersen's attitude to the England set-up has been changed by the lure of the Indian Premier League.

The right-hander's England future has been cast into serious doubt following a turbulent summer that has led to the fracturing of his relationship with team-mates and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The 32-year-old batsman has found himself dropped from the team with hopes of a return resting on whether he can re-establish trust within the England set-up following his texting controversy.

Pietersen announced his shock retirement from limited overs internationals earlier this summer - despite his desire to appear in next month's World Twenty20 title defence - in a move that would allow him more scope to play in the IPL for the Delhi Daredevils.

Backtracked

He subsequently backtracked on playing a full IPL tournament next spring in his YouTube video, where he re-affirmed his commitment to representing England in all three formats.

But team director Flower is certain Pietersen's availability for the cash-rich tournament is at the heart of the current problems he admits are likely to linger with little hope of an IPL window being introduced to avoid clashes with England internationals.

We need to talk about Kevin

"I think it's fair to say that his issues over being available for the entire IPL have changed his attitude," Flower said. "I think that was the catalyst for a lot of the stuff.

"I think the IPL and the international fixtures in England are an area of conflict. And it will continue to be an area of conflict in the future.

"It would be better if there was a very clear window prior to our international season starting.

"But it doesn't look like that is an issue that is going to be sorted out in the future so it may well recur."

Flower has made it clear that he wants Pietersen to hold "face-to-face" and "man-to-man" talks with skipper Andrew Strauss - who was reportedly mentioned in the derogatory text messages sent to South African players.

That would, apparently, be the first step towards any resolution which will take place with the knowledge that the renewal of the England central contracts loom large on the horizon.

Resolution

England's players will sign off on new deals next month although Flower does not expect any resolution on the Pietersen matter to have been concluded before then.

That would likely cast further doubt over the South Africa-born batsman's future, although Flower was reluctant to be drawn on the consequences it might have on Pietersen's contract negotiations.

"I don't think it would be fair for me to say that. Regardless of central contracts, I wouldn't like to put a time frame on it because that might be unrealistic," he said.

"To resolve certain issues of trust and mutual respect, it might take longer than that."