Pietersen granted compassionate leave from Oz tour following friend's death

London, Oct 24 (ANI): Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen has reportedly been granted compassionate leave from his side's tour to Australia for the return Ashes series following the death of a friend, although he is expected to make his 100th appearance in the first Test.

According to the Mirror, Pietersen will not join up with the rest of the 17-man squad until Sunday, but should be available for England's first warm-up game against Western Australia in Perth on October 31.

Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook said that his side accepts their role as favourites as they chase a fourth consecutive Ashes series victory over Australia for the first time in over 100 years, adding that it is a fair description for them given that they have won the last three series.

However, Cook admitted that it would not make much of a difference being favourites in the upcoming series, adding that winning in Australia is no mean feat. (ANI)