London - Kevin Pietersen has said he is "sick and tired" of having to repeatedly defend his participation in the Indian Premier League.
Pietersen has spent the past three weeks with the Delhi Daredevils franchise in the lucrative IPL, a domestic Indian Twenty20 tournament where teams are run by wealthy businessmen who bid for some of the world's leading players in a pre-event 'auction'.
Pitches in India are far removed from the seaming surfaces often encountered early on in an English season and there are those who contend it would be better for England, if not the star batsman's bank balance, if South Africa-born Pietersen spent more time in March and April in his adopted homeland.
Surrey's First Division County Championship match against Worcestershire at New Road, which started on Wednesday, is Pietersen's lone first-class match before England face the West Indies in the first Test at Lord's next week.
But the 31-year-old, whose innings of 151 helped England claim their only Test win of a disappointing winter tour programme when they beat Sri Lanka in Colombo last month, insisted all was well with his preparation.
"It's plain and simple. I'm sick and tired of having to defend myself about going to the IPL every year.
"It's something that's there which all the best players in the world play in. There is no need to defend myself.
"I will play in the IPL, it's the best tournament going, and that's the way it is."
Pietersen, restricted to fielding duties as Worcestershire made 58 without loss on a rain-marred first day, added: "I feel like I've never batted better."
Although the weather in Worcester is far different from what he's been used to lately, Pietersen said the biggest hardship in taking part in this Championship match was that it would mean he missed his son Dylan's second birthday on Thursday.
"It is different conditions. It's 15 degrees. I'd like to see a two in front of the five! But it's not a case of adapting to different conditions.
"I've been in England for 13 years now. It's just adjusting. When you go to Sri Lanka and its 44-45 degrees, you have to adjust then as well.
"There are no dramas. I love doing what I'm doing.
"This week makes it very tough for me because I've been away for two months and haven't seen my kid for two months and it's his birthday tomorrow.
"It's not the best situation for me but this is my job, this is what I've got to do, my family realises that and it doesn't last forever."
Pietersen has cut short his IPL stint so as to make himself available for England and he insisted there was no doubting where his loyalties lay.
"I love playing for England. It's the best.
"Everyone says it's a shame missing out on the IPL for the rest of the series. Yes it is, but I'm playing the best form of cricket next week.
"I'm playing in a Test match at Lord's. Growing up as a kid, that's the sort of thing you dream of."