England need positive performances to put Kevin Pietersen saga behind them says Andrew Flintoff

 

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes the Kevin Pietersen saga will be forgotten about if England perform well in India.

Pietersen was yesterday added to the squad which will fly out next week for the four-Test tour to the sub-continent after a successful series of meetings in his "reintegration" process following a controversial summer.

The 32-year-old had been excluded from the squad after sending "provocative" text message to members of the touring South Africa team during this summer's Test series.

Flintoff told BBC Radio Five Live: "I'm sure there'll be a few words in the dressing room, in certain ears, to make sure it's a smooth transition going back in.

"But in a few months' time, if we start performing well in India, this will be forgotten.

"What tends to happen is that when a team's doing well, everyone talks about the team spirit, togetherness and how everyone gets on. It's tested when you don't perform.

"When you start having a few bad results, little groups form in the dressing room and people start talking, and that's when it can happen."

Flintoff is currently preparing for his debut as a professional boxer on November 30, against an opponent yet to be confirmed.

While his training for the fight is the subject of a television documentary, Flintoff insists the change of career is a serious concern.

"I've trained hard over the past 10 weeks or so," he said. "I've lost pushing 40 pounds to get in shape. I'm training twice a day, sparring as many rounds as I can.

"It has to be serious. We are doing a documentary, however you can't get into a ring to have a professional fight in the heavyweight division without being prepared. If you're not, you can get hurt in that ring.

"It's completely different. I loved playing cricket but we used to break for sandwiches. In boxing, you go into your corner and you have a minute between rounds.

"I'm having my eyes opened to what boxers go through, the sacrifices and dedication you have to have - which possibly weren't always put in the same category with me in my cricket career.

"I'm enjoying being a sportsman again, getting up for the training, getting the buzz from that and I'm really enjoying the challenge of it."

PA

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