A passage to India opens up for Kevin Pietersen

Controversial middle-order batsman Kevin Pietersen can return to the England fold after making peace with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a row over provocative text messages, officials said on Wednesday. He has signed a four-month contract with the board.

Pietersen had apologised to former England captain Andrew Strauss, the ECB said in a statement, and could potentially return to the squad for the tour of India later this year.

Agreement has been reached concerning a process for his re-integration into the England team during the remainder of 2012, the statement said. Upon completion of the programme, the England selectors will consider Kevin for future matches. Kevin Pietersen has apologised to Andrew Strauss and wishes to express to all those who support England his regrets at the impact the recent controversies have had on the England Team. He now wishes to put the events of the summer behind him and to focus on regaining his place in the England team.

Pietersen, who has averaged nearly 50 in 88 Test matches, was dropped in August after admitting sending messages to members of the opposing South Africa side which he conceded were provocative but denied were derogatory about Strauss, the ECB said.

Pietersen said he had deleted the messages and the ECB said the issue had been successfully concluded through a binding assurance provided by Kevin. Pietersen told a news conference in Colombo on Wednesday that he was committed to England in all formats until at least 2015.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to my team mates, all England supporters and the ECB for the situation that has arisen over the last couple of months," Pietersen said in a prepared statement in the Sri Lankan capital, where he has been commentating for television on the ICC World Twenty20.

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