Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell says the England management face a tricky decision regarding the future of Kevin Pietersen.
England are likely to make changes to their Test side following their 5-0 Ashes mauling at the hands of Australia and the mercurial batsman could be at risk.
Pietersen was England's top run-scorer in the Ashes series but was criticised for the manner of some of his dismissals.
It was also suggested in some reports that he was seen as a disruptive influence on the team and coach Andy Flower had to issue a statement denying that he had issued a 'Pietersen or me'-style ultimatum.
But Newell, who worked with Pietersen during the player's Nottinghamshire days, says England will be reluctant to jettison such a classy player.
Asked whether the 33-year-old would be retained, Newell said: "That's a decision Andy Flower has to make, probably with (captain) Alastair Cook over the next few weeks.
"You always give your best players a bit of slack as a manager and a coach. You have to do that, because you need the runs that they score.
"Eventually, you have to make the decision whether the runs that they score outweigh the trouble that they cause. That's a decision Andy and Alastair will take over the next few weeks.
"Kevin is a great player. How you handle him is an individual thing from a management point of view.
"You need his runs and you need his performances, so you have to make sure you get the best out of him.
"We gave him a little bit of a slack, maybe a bit more leeway than we gave to other people, because we knew how important he was to the team. I think if the other players know how important that player is to the team, they tend to be a bit more generous with their time as well.
"Players like to win. If Kevin Pietersen helps a side to win, that's a decision that you make."
Former Nottinghamshire spinner Graeme Swann caused a surprise when he announced his retirement from cricket after the third Test of the Ashes series.
Newell says he thinks a nagging injury played a big part in that decision and was not surprised that Swann decided against continuing as a county player for Notts.
"I anticipated him playing through into the English summer that lies ahead and I thought he would move on after that," said Newell.
"But I think the pain he is in from his elbow has inhibited his bowling more and more over the last year or so and I think that brought the decision forward for Graeme.
"I never thought he'd come back to Notts, I don't think county cricket would provide him with the glamour and celebrity lifestyle he would like. I think you are more likely to see him on Strictly Come Dancing!"