England news March 28, 2014

KP plans 5,000-mile T20 commute (if he's lucky)

  shares 22

Kevin Pietersen plans to play simultaneously in two Twenty20 competitions in England and the Caribbean as he becomes the ultimate jet-set commuter in his attempts to keep his career alive after his exclusion from the England side.

The age of the itinerant T20 cricketer has been upon us for a few years, but Pietersen has taken it a stage further by seeking to play in England's relaunched NatWest Blast tournament and the Caribbean Premier League at the same time.

‏@KP24 - the Twitter handle which has now carries Pietersen's pronouncements, official and unofficial, on life, the universe and everything - promised: "I will be fulfilling ALL my @surreycricket commitments and just flying into the Caribbean to honour this opportunity."

It remains to be seen, though, if this regular 4000-miles-plus commute has a beneficial effect on his ability to hit a cricket ball in the area to which it is intended, especially as his regular diet of in-flight meals would not be countenanced by the England cookbook. Just think, some people can become disorientated by a daily commute from Paddington to East Croydon.

And, at least if the Kia Oval and the Caribbean are more than 4,000 miles apart that is nothing compared to the distance between England and Pietersen when it came to a meeting of minds.

If Pietersen is fortunate when the draft is finalised in a bar owned by Chris Gayle in Jamaica on Thursday, he will at least have a direct flight. As he indulged in a spot of repartee on Twitter with Gayle about whether they would be team-mates or opponents, it was a decent bet that he had not considered the possibility that he might yet be signed by Guyana Amazon Warriors: now that would add a few hours to the journey time.

Surrey, who are heavily promoting their T20 campaign around Pietersen's involvement, were quick to confirm that his ambitious plans have their full blessing.

Richard Gould, the chief executive, said: "Kevin is available for all our T20 fixtures once he gets back from the IPL in late May or early June. There are a couple of windows within our T20 season which coincides with the CPL where he can go out for the CPL, play some games there and still be available for all our games. We thought it was a good grown-up decision.

Everybody knows that grown-ups like flying. Children grow up wanting to be engine drivers.

His journey will be nearly three times as long as the match - although that distinction might lessen if over-rates keep sinking.

Pietersen initially chose Surrey - and the NatWest Blast - ahead of the CPL as he rebuilt his career following England's unparalleled decision to terminate his contract so publically after their 5-0 whitewash in Australia.

He first broached the possibility of playing both tournaments, according to Gould, "two or three weeks ago." He held discussions with Surrey's new head coach, Graham Ford, an early mentor in South Africa, and their director of cricket Alec Stewart.

Although factual enough, that is slightly misleading. He will play in the CPL on a "secondment clause" in his Surrey contract which allows a temporary change or relocation of position and duties. The clause was in there for a reason. It remains unconfirmed whether Surrey will also benefit from the arrangement.

"He is contracted for all the T20 fixtures," Gould said. "His contract allows him to play championship cricket and 50-overs cricket subject to his availability and we will see how that goes during the season."

The CPL is scheduled to run from July 5 to August 10. In that time, Surrey play their final five group matches in the space of a fortnight - all of which Pietersen has vowed to play.

They have a home match against Glamorgan on Friday, July 11, the day after CPL launches (pads strapped on at Heathrow?), further matches on the Wednesday and Friday of the following week and then two games in 24 hours - a derby against Middlesex on Thursday, July 24, and a short trip to Canterbury (a mere bagatelle for a hardened traveller like Pietersen) to play Kent the following day.

Before all this, Pietersen has agreed to captain the Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming Indian Premier League.

It would be difficult to travel further afield to ply his trade. The Times recorded the discovery of a new planet far beyond Pluto today - temporarily answering to the name of 2012 VP113 - but nobody is entirely sure whether the Inner Oort Cloud has yet to catch on to Twenty20.

"I'm delighted to be involved in this year's Caribbean Premier League," Pietersen said. "As soon as I was approached, I knew it was something I wanted to take part in. I have fantastic memories of playing T20 cricket in the Caribbean -- especially when we won the 2010 ICC World T20 tournament -- so I can't wait to play in front of the magnificent Caribbean fans who create a truly unique and thrilling atmosphere."

Pietersen's rejection by England has encouraged such open displays of affection. The love is spread upon all-comers. It remains to be seen whether it will be spread too thinly. If he pulls it off, there will be a few people envious of his air miles.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • riprock on March 29, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    Expeditious plans. KP can take the opportunity to exploit his uninhibited freedom and dazzle which might also boost the reputation of T20 specialists. You can opt to stay aloof and oblivious to that board and detractors..while enjoying your mobility and switch-hit sixes. Have a blast, Kevin

  • FredBoycott on March 29, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    Wouldn't it be a shame if, after travelling all that way that KP gets caught on the boundary slogging off his first ball... I await the "It's just the way I play" comment..

  • vik56in on March 29, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Kevin Petersen will now miss the high level training with coaches,physio and nets that was a part of his life when he was with the English cricket team. In a year or two his performances are bound to fall consequently. He must look and understand to what happened to Andrew Symonds. Symonds performances began to fall within a year after he was dropped from the Australian team so much so that even IPL didn't require his services hereafter.

  • CodandChips on March 29, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    Petty from KP. Just seems like a way to get back at the ECB by belittling county cricket. This should lose him some of the small amount of respect and credibility he had.

  • jacknathan on March 29, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    KP is good friends with Gayle who is almost hosting the auction. I wont be surprised if he doesn't know already who is going to be his top-bidder. Surrey would benefit from KP more as the marketing mascot than as a player - I am surprised he is even showing any allegiance to a club in which he has been less than 3 years. Its a disgrace how the English administrators did not even allow a graceful farewell to a once-in-a-generation player like KP - I hear several other international players are just as baffled but pleased they wouldnt have to make bowling plans for KP. Jack

  • Harvey on March 29, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Ironic that the reason he gave for leaving Hampshire a couple of seasons ago was that the commute from his London home was too long!

  • Nathan_123 on March 29, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    I agree with some of the comments here. Without international cricket it will be very difficult for him to keep motivated. I believe he has another good 2-3 years of cricket left on him. Why don't you think about playing for another country? You would easily get in to any international team. life is too short!

  • on March 29, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    just play for Surrey then that way I can watch u help my home county win the t20 blast

  • sachin_equal_to_bradman on March 29, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    Dear KP. You are the only england cricketer who is talented. Rest are all just average players. Come to india... You will have the utmost respect and love

  • Philippe on March 29, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    in coming years KP will fail miserably in club crickets too. you have to have an International presence to keep you motivated.

  • riprock on March 29, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    Expeditious plans. KP can take the opportunity to exploit his uninhibited freedom and dazzle which might also boost the reputation of T20 specialists. You can opt to stay aloof and oblivious to that board and detractors..while enjoying your mobility and switch-hit sixes. Have a blast, Kevin

  • FredBoycott on March 29, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    Wouldn't it be a shame if, after travelling all that way that KP gets caught on the boundary slogging off his first ball... I await the "It's just the way I play" comment..

  • vik56in on March 29, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Kevin Petersen will now miss the high level training with coaches,physio and nets that was a part of his life when he was with the English cricket team. In a year or two his performances are bound to fall consequently. He must look and understand to what happened to Andrew Symonds. Symonds performances began to fall within a year after he was dropped from the Australian team so much so that even IPL didn't require his services hereafter.

  • CodandChips on March 29, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    Petty from KP. Just seems like a way to get back at the ECB by belittling county cricket. This should lose him some of the small amount of respect and credibility he had.

  • jacknathan on March 29, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    KP is good friends with Gayle who is almost hosting the auction. I wont be surprised if he doesn't know already who is going to be his top-bidder. Surrey would benefit from KP more as the marketing mascot than as a player - I am surprised he is even showing any allegiance to a club in which he has been less than 3 years. Its a disgrace how the English administrators did not even allow a graceful farewell to a once-in-a-generation player like KP - I hear several other international players are just as baffled but pleased they wouldnt have to make bowling plans for KP. Jack

  • Harvey on March 29, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Ironic that the reason he gave for leaving Hampshire a couple of seasons ago was that the commute from his London home was too long!

  • Nathan_123 on March 29, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    I agree with some of the comments here. Without international cricket it will be very difficult for him to keep motivated. I believe he has another good 2-3 years of cricket left on him. Why don't you think about playing for another country? You would easily get in to any international team. life is too short!

  • on March 29, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    just play for Surrey then that way I can watch u help my home county win the t20 blast

  • sachin_equal_to_bradman on March 29, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    Dear KP. You are the only england cricketer who is talented. Rest are all just average players. Come to india... You will have the utmost respect and love

  • Philippe on March 29, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    in coming years KP will fail miserably in club crickets too. you have to have an International presence to keep you motivated.

  • on March 29, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    england have disrespected their greatest batsman ever by dropping him.i hope England lose all fheir matches badly until they realize their mistake.

  • SamWintson92 on March 29, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    It'll be fun if KP plays for Jamaica Tallawahs along with Gayle, Russell.

    ''KP SHOULD BE BROUGHT BACK IN THE ENG TEAM''.

  • on March 29, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    I wish Kevin Pietersen the best. It's a pity that England let go such a great player.

  • Umair_umair on March 29, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Man sees a lot of dreams , but only a few are fulfilled. Hope he keeps fit, otherwise, we might see an unfortunate end to his overall career

  • on March 29, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    He is a true fighter . And big player for big matches

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 29, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Maybe KP wants to play for West Indies?

  • jmcilhinney on March 29, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    I wish him well if that's what he wants to do, but it's hard to see how anyone could be at their best when continually jumping between time-zones like that.

  • on March 29, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    i risk suggesting a moot point but perhaps england discarding kp will be the world's gain. good on you mate for trying to keep your head high:-)

  • SagirParkar on March 28, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    weird... does KP not realise how much of a toll it will have on his body, his sleep cycle, his concentration and therefore his performance ??

    always better to give one thing your best shot.. now if the T20 calendar was split in such a way that you can spend a chunk of time at one place, it is an entirely different story.. but commuting twice in a week is a tall order...

    nonetheless, i wish good luck to the man ! and may he snub out the ECB pride

  • lummox on March 28, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    Sorry but as a big Surrey cricket fan I just don't care. The sooner KP goes somewhere else to earn his dollars the better. All his signing does is confirm we will lose more young cricketers to Sussex and beyond

  • GeoffreysMother on March 28, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    And to think , it used to be too far for him to go down the M3 to Hampshire!

  • xylo on March 28, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    It is payback season for KP I believe. It looks like he is going to show ECB what they missed out on. As for the fan, it is going to be entertainment galore.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • xylo on March 28, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    It is payback season for KP I believe. It looks like he is going to show ECB what they missed out on. As for the fan, it is going to be entertainment galore.

  • GeoffreysMother on March 28, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    And to think , it used to be too far for him to go down the M3 to Hampshire!

  • lummox on March 28, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    Sorry but as a big Surrey cricket fan I just don't care. The sooner KP goes somewhere else to earn his dollars the better. All his signing does is confirm we will lose more young cricketers to Sussex and beyond

  • SagirParkar on March 28, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    weird... does KP not realise how much of a toll it will have on his body, his sleep cycle, his concentration and therefore his performance ??

    always better to give one thing your best shot.. now if the T20 calendar was split in such a way that you can spend a chunk of time at one place, it is an entirely different story.. but commuting twice in a week is a tall order...

    nonetheless, i wish good luck to the man ! and may he snub out the ECB pride

  • on March 29, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    i risk suggesting a moot point but perhaps england discarding kp will be the world's gain. good on you mate for trying to keep your head high:-)

  • jmcilhinney on March 29, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    I wish him well if that's what he wants to do, but it's hard to see how anyone could be at their best when continually jumping between time-zones like that.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 29, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Maybe KP wants to play for West Indies?

  • on March 29, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    He is a true fighter . And big player for big matches

  • Umair_umair on March 29, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Man sees a lot of dreams , but only a few are fulfilled. Hope he keeps fit, otherwise, we might see an unfortunate end to his overall career

  • on March 29, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    I wish Kevin Pietersen the best. It's a pity that England let go such a great player.