County news March 7, 2017

Pietersen rejoins Surrey after withdrawing from CPL

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WATCH - Kevin Pietersen in action at the PSL

Kevin Pietersen has rejoined Surrey for this year's NatWest T20 Blast, after withdrawing from the Caribbean Premier League.

Pietersen was expected to appear for St Lucia Stars (formerly Zouks) in this year's CPL, which runs from August 1 to September 9. But, as revealed by ESPNcricinfo, Pietersen has chosen instead to make a return to English cricket, with this year's Blast set to be played in a block from July 7, with Finals Day on September 2.

While Pietersen is not a huge fan of England's domestic T20 competition - he felt that playing just once a week rendered it difficult to find form or rhythm - the competition's return to something approaching a window in 2017 may have eased his concerns.

Pietersen opted out of any involvement in the 2016 season, following final confirmation that his England ambitions were over, but his relationship with Surrey has remained very good, and the club never made any secret of their desire to re-sign him as and when he became available.

"I'm absolutely over the moon to be joining Surrey again. I've missed playing here at home and it's going to be a special feeling walking out at the Kia Oval again," Pietersen said.

"We've got some seriously talented guys in our team and I'm very confident we can achieve something really special this season.

"I've had some great times at this club and ground over the years; it's a special place with top people, and I'm looking forward to once again being part of it."

Surrey director of cricket, Alec Stewart, said: "Re-signing KP is a massive boost to the club and the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

"To have a player of his undoubted calibre available to us will add strength and experience to our squad and I'm sure all our fans will enjoy seeing him back playing in England again.

"His work ethic and appetite for success are infectious and our squad have always enjoyed having him around the dressing room and performing out in the middle."

Pietersen appeared in the 2014 and 2015 editions of the CPL but pulled out of last year's competition in order to take some time off. He has spent recent months playing in South Africa's T20 Challenge, the BBL in Australia and the Pakistan Super League. The draft for the 2017 CPL is due to take place in Barbados on Friday.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter87 on March 9, 2017, 13:08 GMT

    Maybe I'm a dreamer, but please can the ECB and KP drop their petty differences?! What I'd pay to see him walk out at the end of the year for one last burn against the Aussies...

  • Diaz54 on March 8, 2017, 19:52 GMT

    Good stuff makes sense for Surrey.

  • SamWintson92 on March 8, 2017, 18:49 GMT

    @JUPITERLAW: Yes dear, KP has only played some 100 tests for England and has only scored some 8000 test runs. Strauss was criticized for his decision to overlook him by some experts. Wish Strauss kept his personal and professional life apart. It was very unethical and unprofessional by Strauss.

  •   Edward John Dorrell Webb on March 8, 2017, 12:37 GMT

    If he could be bothered to play some proper cricket once in a while he'd get more than one game a week. That is, if he could get into the Surrey 1st or 2nd XI these days.

  • exiledtyke on March 8, 2017, 10:00 GMT

    Look out Surrey. The ego has landed.

    "While Pietersen is not a huge fan of England's domestic T20 competition - he felt that playing just once a week rendered it difficult to find form or rhythm"

    boo hoo. It was the same for every player, so KP was not at any disadvantage. translates to "I'll only play if I can be arsed (and they pay enough).

  • GeoffreysMother on March 8, 2017, 7:24 GMT

    Seem to remember our Kevin was 'over the moon' about about playing in the CPL a while back (and a few others throughout his career). He should move to Jupiter: it has enough moons to accommodate him.

  • cricfan67643912 on March 8, 2017, 5:53 GMT

    Sad to read the negative KP remarks. He is a popular guy now in Oz, except with the selectors as he tends to talk straight in the usual South African manner. He draws the crowds at the BBL. He seems to help his team mates and he pushes the interests of the youngsters. He can still put in great explosive innings.

    He might well have been right in some of his accusations.

    Alec Stewart is a good man and a smart one. And loyal. I will be supporting Surrey ! Finch is there too. Go Surrey!

  • simplythebest... on March 7, 2017, 22:01 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER. Ollie Pope a spinner?? LOL. He's a wicket-keeper batsmen, and a very promising young one at that! I think what Dezzy is saying is that KP has the unfortunately 'ability' to damage young talent psychologically, not 'block' them from taking the field.

  •   Cricinfouser on March 7, 2017, 19:39 GMT

    @DEZZYDEZDEZER - Why would KP block the Curran brothers - they are bowlers? Burns has never produced anything of substance in limited overs, but is very solid in the championship. Ollie Pope is a spinner. Anything that gets more people interested in the sport and gets more bums on seats has to be a good thing. KP played well in the big bash, and is clearly still a dangerous player. Surreys top 4 of Roy, Finch, Sangakkara and KP is seriously box office and is very exciting. Couple that with a battery of good quick bowlers and some canny spinners and they have a very good chance this year.

  • TestsareBest on March 7, 2017, 18:38 GMT

    @ CRICFAN51302264 You must have missed the PSL. He was on fire. He's class, and that never dies.

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