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Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 19:18 UK

Kevin Pietersen ready to leave World T20 for baby birth

Kevin Pietersen in Barbados
Pietersen expects England to do well in the Caribbean

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been cleared to leave in the middle of a game at the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean if his wife goes into labour.

Pietersen's wife Jessica, a former member of pop group Liberty X, is expecting the couple's first child.

He said: "No matter where it is in the tournament, I'll be off - it's been cleared with the management to do that.

"If I'm in the middle of a match, I'll obviously get off the field and be on the next plane that flies to Heathrow."

The 29-year-old indicated before Christmas that he would not consider missing the birth, a view supported at the time by national selector Geoff Miller.

There is precedent for England players being allowed to put family matters first, with Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior all returning home from tours in recent years.


And Pietersen, who joined the squad in the Caribbean after playing in the Indian Premier League, has no time for those who think he should put the team first.

"I think it's pretty sad that if you have your first child, people criticise you for wanting to be there, whatever walk of life," he added.

Pietersen's wife is due to give birth in mid-May and if that date proves accurate it could mean him missing the final on 16 May, were England to get that far in the tournament.

The team have not reached that stage of a major competition either 50-over or 20-over cricket since 1992 but Pietersen believes they have a good chance following warm-up victories over Bangladesh and South Africa.

"It's a great start by the boys. It's important to win, because it becomes a habit," he reflected.

"I think we've got a good chance. We've got some pretty good spin bowlers - Swanny's [Graeme Swann] obviously world-class; (Michael) Yardy's performed brilliantly in the two warm-up games, and I think I may have a trundle in Guyana on those wickets.

"If we field well, take all our catches and have some moments of brilliance, I don't see any reason why we can't go a long, long way.

"But anyone could win this tournament - it's very unpredictable."

The IPL has become mired in controversy since Pietersen's departure with chairman Lallit Modi suspended amid allegations of corruption.

"It's sad, because I think it detracts from the actual tournament itself. I don't really know what's going on there at the moment, but I'm sure it will be cleaned up and sorted," Pietersen commented.

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see also
Morgan shines in England victory
29 Apr 10 |  England
Bopara leads England to victory
28 Apr 10 |  England
Anderson backs 'fearless' openers
25 Apr 10 |  England
Uncapped Lumb makes England squad
20 Apr 10 |  England
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Pietersen reveals mental fatigue
28 Mar 09 |  England

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