Pietersen set for full England contract
Kevin Pietersen is set to commute his temporary England and Wales Cricket Board central contract into a full annual deal.
After the superstar batsman's summer of discontent with his employers, and breakdown of relations with some senior players and management, he signed a four-month contract in September to allow him to take part after all in the Test tour to India. The extension of that arrangement was dependent on the ongoing success of his "reintegration".
But team director Andy Flower has made it clear all parties are satisfied there will be no hitches, after Pietersen played an important role in England's historic Test series victory. "The contract won't be a problem," said Flower, who went on to give a full endorsement of Pietersen's goodwill and commitment to the cause over the past two months.
"Kevin has been excellent in every way. We don't all always get on with people all of the time - any of us in any walk of life - and everyone has made an effort to make it work. It's been really good fun, and he should be very proud of the way he's operated out here, both as an individual and as a player."
Flower, who is to take charge of the Test team only on a day-to-day basis after England appointed Ashley Giles as their specialist limited-overs coach last month, has stressed the importance of protecting players too from a relentless international schedule.
Pietersen, for example, is among a clutch of regulars missing from this week's two Twenty20s against India - and it was also announced that fast bowler James Anderson and number three batsman Jonathan Trott will take no part in next month's five-match ODI series.
Anderson, in particular, had a heavy workload as England's first-choice seamer in the four-Test series just concluded. Seam-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes and middle-order strokeplayer Jos Buttler have been added to next month's squad to make up for Trott and Anderson's absences.
Stuart Broad, originally named as Anderson's replacement for the final two matches of the series, is still expected to travel - as long as he recovers sufficiently from the bruised left heel which interrupted his Test tour and then ended it early. Flower explained the importance of finding breaks in the schedule for hard-worked frontline staff.
"If you look at the next couple of years, we have to look after some of the players who either play all three forms of the game or expend so much energy in a series like this," he said.
"Jimmy Anderson is an example of that. Otherwise they will snap in some sort of way. They will get injured anyway, because of the nature of what they do, but it's our duty to look after them. We hope this will allow them to play more cricket for England and help us win more matches if we use them wisely."