Pietersen in need of a break

Kevin Pietersen has again called for more time off for England's players as he squeezes in a short break ahead of the India series. He says his poor form during the one-day series against West Indies, 42 runs in three innings, was down to him becoming increasingly tired during the season.
He began the summer with a bang, hitting a career-best 226 at Headingley after a century at Lord's, but his form has slowly tailed off since. His packed schedule led to the ECB chartering a helicopter to fly him straight from the final Test at Chester-le-Street to The Rose Bowl for Hampshire's Friends Provident quarter-final against Warwickshire.

"I'm mentally fatigued - really, really tired. It was a long winter of Champions Trophy, then the Ashes, then the World Cup," he said. "I rattled into the West Indies series but got progressively worse, more and more tired.

"That's why I have to make the most of these little windows of opportunity for a proper rest. So we're going out of this country, I'm going to turn my mobile off and enjoy waking up knowing I don't have to play cricket or do a gym session."

Pietersen had a four-week break during the CB Series after breaking his rib, but won't have another sustained period away from cricket until mid-October. Three days after England's final ODI against India the Twenty20 World Championships start in South Africa, from where England fly straight to Sri Lanka for a five-match one-day series.

Then there is a month's break before England return to Sri Lanka for a three-Test series before, following a rare Christmas at home, leaving for New Zealand in late January to play two Twenty20 Internationals, five ODIs and three Tests.