The England and Wales Cricket Board has not included Kevin Pietersen's name in the list of players who have been given a central contract for the 2012-13 season.
The batsman is out of favour following a dispute over the alleged content of text messages he sent to the members of the South Africa squad during the recent Test series, with his future still no clearer despite the retirement of captain Andrew Strauss.
The ECB, who have issued 10 full-time and four incremental contracts, did add a caveat by saying "discussions are ongoing and remain private" with the 32-year-old but, as things stand, he will not be a contracted player in an Ashes year.
If the ECB presses ahead therefore with plans to name a squad next Thursday to undertake the four-Test tour of India under Alastair Cook, time is short for Pietersen's differences with his employers to be settled, The Telegraph reports.
ECB have also awarded four incremental contracts to Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter and Graham Onions.
National selector Geoff Miller made special mention of Onions, awarded an increment contract after his return from a career-threatening back injury - even though he has played just one Test since his comeback.
List of England and Wales Cricket Board centrally contracted players for the 2012-13 season
James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Matt Prior (Sussex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire). (ANI)