London: To persuade Kevin Pietersen to prolong his international career beyond the end of the current series against South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board is all set to offer a Test only contract to him.
Pietersen had warned on Monday that next week’s third Test at Lord’s could be his last game for England following an ongoing contractual dispute with his employers and what he called dressing-room politics.
The ECB is keen not to lose Pietersen ahead of a crucial four-Test series in India and back-to-back Ashes series in 2013, despite being effectively accused by the batsman of leaking details of recent meetings about his future between his representatives and board officials.
Pietersen quit one-day international and Twenty20 cricket in June, and with the current contracts up for renewal in September, could be offered a deal similar to that signed by his captain and Test specialist Andrew Strauss.
The doubts remain whether Pietersen, who is keen to cash in on a full season in next year’s Indian Premier League, will agree to the ECB’s new deal.
Pietersen, 32, has never forgiven the ECB for sacking him as captain and fell out with his employers again recently, retiring from one-day cricket because he could skip some limited-over series.
He wants to play in the World Twenty20 next month in Sri Lanka but the ECB has a blanket policy of not picking players for T20 matches if they are not available for one-day cricket.
Averaging 50 from 88 Tests with 21 centuries, Pietersen claimed it is not a money issue.