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Colly - KP absence no problem

Veteran batsman insists squad are focused on task at hand

Paul Collingwood: insists Kevin Pietersen¿s absence is no distraction

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Paul Collingwood insists Kevin Pietersen's absence from the ICC World Twenty20 is not a distraction for England's squad.

The South Africa-born batsman was not included for the Sri Lanka showpiece despite revoking his retirement from international limited-overs cricket.

Pietersen retired from one-day cricket almost four months ago before reversing his decision.

Collingwood, who led his country to Twenty20 success two years ago, insists the decision has helped England plan for life without him.

Decision

"I don't think it's a distraction to the Twenty20 form of the game, because he made that decision to retire from one-day cricket - which he knew was then going to keep him out of the Twenty20 side," he said.

"I don't think it's a distraction to the Twenty20 form of the game, because he made that decision to retire from one-day cricket - which he knew was then going to keep him out of the Twenty20 side."

Collingwood on Pietersen

Quotes of the week

"That plan has been there from the start, and that is his doing."

England warmed up for the tournament with a nine-run win over Australia on Monday and Collingwood is confident the young guns present will be up to the task.

Exciting

The likes of Jos Buttler, Jonathan Bairstow and Alex Hales have been included in coach Andy Flower's squad, something that excites veteran Collingwood.

"You look at the players that have come in, and it's properly exciting," he continued.

"You look at the batting line-up now; they are young players but very skilful and powerful players.

"Ask any attack in the world, and they will not be looking forward to coming up against those batters.

"I think we have a better batting line-up than we did last time - and that is without KP in it. I think we have a great chance."