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Kevin Pietersen Set To Return To Surrey

Kevin Pietersen Set To Return To Surrey
Kevin Pietersen will join Surrey for the county championship in a bid to stage a comeback into the England team.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Kevin Pietersen’s return to county cricket has been confirmed as he is set to feature for Surrey in the opening game of the County Championship against Glamorgan on 19th April.

Despite parting with the English club in September, Alec Stewart, the Surrey director of cricket expressed delight over having Pietersen back in the squad.

“The relationship now with KP has been for last four or five years with Surrey," he said.

“So he has been a part of us. Whenever he has played four day cricket, he scored heavily and We hope he is going to do exactly the same."

In order to have any chance of getting back into the England team again, Pietersen needs to grab the attention of selectors through his performance in county and Stewart believes this will benefit his club more.

“He obviously has this huge ambition to play for England again.

“To do that and to be considered he has to score big runs for Surrey and that’s going to be in our favour.”

The former wicket-keeper credited the incoming chairman of England and Wales Cricket Board Colin Graves for the developments after the latter's announcement on a radio show that the England door is still open for Pietersen provided he performs well in county cricket.

“We really came to know about this though the incoming chairman of the ECB Colin Graves comment, he made on a Sunday radio show when he said that the door isn’t completely shut in Kevin’s face.

“And from that Kevin has picked up. He got over the phone and said ‘I want to play for Surrey to see If I can force my place back in.’"

Stewart admitted the the star batsman's hectic schedule all over the globe was a concern initially for the Surrey team-management with respect to his availability for the Championship.

“So once we heard that we then said ‘We will have you back but you are contracted with the IPL and you are going after the Caribbean. If you are only available for three weeks, is it gonna work?'

“So he has got out of the group stages of the IPL. He is eligible to play the knock-out stages, should his franchise qualify."

Clarifying that the decision to pull out from the start of the IPL was entirely Pietersen’s, Stewart confirmed that the explosive batsman will be available for selection in the opening game of the Championship.

“It was his decision. “We didn’t force him to do anything.

He signed the contract with the IPL and the BCCI and he had a good discussion which is good for everyone and we the benefiters because very much it is a question now of him arriving after the World Cup, he has commentary duties and be back here training at the Kia Oval and then he will get ready for the first Championship game where he will be considered for selection.”

While expressing his happiness on Pietersen’s return to Surrey for the four-day format, Stewart didn’t rule out the possibility of the ace batsmen featuring in the shorter formats too.

”At the moment, we’re talking more Championship.

“That’s not to say that we won’t see him in colored clothing for the 50-over game or Twenty20.

“But at the moment, he is ready for Championship cricket and then we shall see as the season goes on.”

“Anyone of his batting ability who has a desire to play for England and therefore for that he has to score runs, surely will be an asset to us and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back.”

Pietersen last played for England on their 2013-14 Ashes tour after which he was axed from all forms of the game.



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