London: Kevin Pietersen is set to be offered a full central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after team director Andy Flower was impressed by the right-hander's on and off-field behaviour and contribution in the historic Test series win in India. Pietersen's successful reintegration into England's dressing room will be officially acknowledged with the award of his full contract at the end of ongoing tour of India.
Flower confirmed that the extension of Pietersen's four-month contract is all but a formality. "The contract won't be a problem, Kevin has been excellent in every way," Flower said after England defeated India 2-1 in the just-concluded four-Test away series. "We don't all always get on with people all of the time, 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," the former Zimbabwe captain added.
Flower knows the value of Pietersen's 186-run knock in the second Test in Mumbai, and said his innings played a big role in England's turnaround in the series after the crushing defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad. "In that Test (Mumbai) he showed real skill in Indian conditions on a pitch that turned on the first day," Flower was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph. "For him to score as quickly as he did there and put such pressure on the opposition bowlers really helped us turn the series around," Flower said.
"He also scored a 73 and a 54 in the series, important innings, and he's been excellent in the field and in the dressing room," he added. Pietersen was on a four-month trial after being welcomed back into the team following his banishment last summer for sending provocative texts about team-mates to South African players. But for Flower the episode was a thing of the past now. "We did move on from it as soon as we had our meetings and everyone made a commitment to do so," he said. "I want to continue that. We want to learn from the past but we don't want to keep on revisiting it."