Kevin Pietersen's future as an international cricketer is expected to become much clearer at an England and Wales Cricket Board press conference.

The ECB have confirmed a press conference will take place at 4pm local time (1130am BST) in Colombo, at which ECB chairman Giles Clarke and Pietersen are expected to be present - and it is thought a statement will be issued on the mercurial batsman's contract situation.

Pietersen's annual central deal lapsed two days ago.

He was not included previously on the list last month of those awarded contracts for 2012/13, and it is understood - after a summer of wrangles and disagreements with his employers and team-mates - the South Africa-born batsman turned down the subsequent offer of a four-month deal.

The 32-year-old's return to the England team appears most likely to come in time for either next year's January one-day international tour of India or the trip to New Zealand which follows.

But it has also been reported on Wednesday that he may yet be added to the squad, already picked without him, to travel to India at the end of this month for a four-Test tour.

Pietersen alienated many in the summer, first of all with his wish to play a full Indian Premier League campaign at a time when England have Test match obligations next spring, and then with the "provocative" text messages he sent to opposition South Africa players during the Headingley Test.

England reacted by dropping him from the final Test at Lord's, and he has also been absent from their failed ICC World Twenty20 campaign in Sri Lanka - where he is instead working as a television pundit.

But he has apologised for sending the texts - which may or may not have contained "derogatory" references to former Test captain Andrew Strauss - and has also been engaged in recent weeks in a series of meetings with ECB top brass, aimed at finding the necessary common ground to reintegrate him into the England fold.