Pietersen in England squad despite lack of cricket

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pietersen_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Despite a long absence due to injury, Kevin Pietersen has been named in the 12-man England squad for the first Test against Pakistan.

Updated: July 25, 2010 08:35 IST
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Kevin Pietersen was named in England's 12-man squad on Sunday for the first of four Tests against Pakistan starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday despite not having played any cricket for nearly a month because of a thigh injury.

England's selectors wanted Pietersen to play for Hampshire on Sunday but the county have not included him in their team after he announced his intention to leave the south coast side at the end of the season.

Former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan retained his place after two moderate displays in England's 2-0 home series win against Bangladesh in May and June.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad and all-rounder Paul Collingwood have returned to the Test squad after being rested for the Bangladesh series.

Promising quick Steven Finn also retained his place, as did Yorkshire seamer Ajmal Shahzad, who made his debut against Bangladesh.

Pakistan go into this series on the back of their 1-1 draw with Australia in a two-Test encounter wrapped up with a three-wicket win inside four days at Headingley on Saturday.

England squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Ajmal Shahzad

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