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Pietersen to leave Hampshire

George Dobell

June 17, 2010

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen made a rare appearance for Hampshire but could only score 15, Hampshire v Surrey, Friends Provident t20, Rose Bowl, June 13, 2010
Moving on: Kevin Pietersen's occasional county appearances now lie away from Hampshire © Getty Images
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Kevin Pietersen has announced he will leave Hampshire at the end of the season. He has not played a Championship match at The Rose Bowl since breaking into the Test team in 2005 and made his first appearance in two years on Sunday in the Friends Provident t20.

Afterwards, when pressed about his future at the club, he replied: "Geographically it just doesn't work. I live in Chelsea."

On Thursday he said: "I have not had much opportunity to play for Hampshire but I want to thank the players, staff, chairman and fans, for the support I have had during my time at The Rose Bowl. Hampshire is a great club and I wish them well for the future."

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: "Given England's critical dependence on KP in all forms of cricket, we have not seen anything like as much of him as we would have liked over the past six years."

Pietersen's desire to be in London would appear to limit his options for a move considerably. Middlesex and Surrey are the only clubs with easy reach of his home. If neither express any interest, it is possible he could become a 'freelance'. It is understood that a move to Middlesex is likely.

"I don't blame Kevin, but these international players are now owned almost entirely by England," Bransgrove told Cricinfo before Pietersen's announcement. "He supports us the best he can when he's here, but the ECB's policy of releasing player for their counties is quite opaque and I don't understand it. The England management rule the roost. I've given up asking for them to release Kevin for Hampshire games."

Bransgrove expressed particular disappointment over Pietersen's availability for T20 cricket. Pietersen has played only two domestic T20 matches for Hampshire in six seasons. "The ECB have also shown no commitment to the competition," Bransgrove said. "Our international player was only available for one game. We really need to grasp the opportunity of T20, but it's almost gone now."

To exacerbate matters, the England management withdrew Pietersen from a question and answer session arranged for a dinner at the Rose Bowl on the eve of the ODI against Australia. "I'm extremely hacked off," Bransgrove said.

Meanwhile Hampshire are also reeling from the news that Kabir Ali will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury. Kabir, who has the best strike-rate of any bowler in county cricket, joined the club from Worcestershire at the end of last year.

"It's very sad news," Bransgrove said. "We thought he'd take at least 50 wickets for us and he started the season bowling beautifully. But it's a serious injury - much like that suffered by Simon Jones - and we'll have to work very hard to get him ready for next season."

To complete a thoroughly miserable day, the club have also reluctantly accepted that Ajantha Mendis, the Sri Lankan spinner they hoped would represent them for most of the season, will not be available at all.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

Poor old Kev , the mileage never seems a problem when England roll up at the Riverside or Old Trafford while an 80 minute bimble down the M3 every so often seems a bit too steep for those all important family moments.

Maybe Hammersmith 3rd XI have a couple of spare spots on a Sunday during the season ?

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (June 17, 2010, 23:16 GMT)

@Paul Rone Clarke: Worcestershire weren't exactly reluctant to see Kabir go. They just got slightly angry that some money didn't come their way. They were more than happy to release him.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2010, 23:09 GMT)

@Jon Winsky - He wouldn't cost Middlesex anything really. The central contract means his playing salary is paid by the ECB. BUt the point about him not playing for the county anyway is well taken. Bowlers don't bowl anywhere NEAR enough overs. Flintoff and Jones Selectors are worried about repeat injuries, specifically the ones to Flintoff (overweight), and Jones (injured in that horrific "sand" incident in Sydney). Yes, Broad looks like a string bean and might go the way of Bruce Reid, but him aside, the rest need a hell of a lot more overs. These days they bowl slower, and they bowl less overs. Anderson is right, get the cotton wool off and get them out playing for their counties. You can't legislate for chubby allrounders and freak accidents in the outfield.

Posted by TheBigShip on (June 17, 2010, 21:22 GMT)

I was at his appearance on Sunday at the Rose Bowl for Hampshire. His whole demeanor and attitude seemed as though hes saw the whole day as a chore or some sort of obligation.I have been a member of Hampshire for a number of years and can count the number of times he a played on the fingers of one hand. He is a Great player, and totally central to any future England plans.I wish him well, but whoever he joins, i predict they wont see a lot of him.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2010, 19:50 GMT)

Hampshire moaning about player availability! - Hampshire who knowingly "stole" a player contracted to another club I feel sorry for Kabir Ali, but he showed that a signed contract means nothing - and unlike football, he was able to just ignore the last year of his for Worcestershire with no penalty to either him, or the club that picked it up. He did this by not turning up for training and erroneously claiming he was "on holiday" Well Mr Ali (who incidently has a better test bowling average than either Anderson or Broad) and Mr Bransgrove - you reap what you sow!

Posted by TheFishMan92 on (June 17, 2010, 19:26 GMT)

@Jonathan Winsky

As far as my knowledge goes ECB contracted players don't recieve a club salary as they're contracted to the country.

Why does it matter what county team he plays for? It's not as if he'll ever play for them.

Posted by   on (June 17, 2010, 19:04 GMT)

Yes Jonathan, very funny ! A freelance Soth African without a county but playing for England and in the IPL. Would money have anything to do with it ?.

Posted by TheBigShip on (June 17, 2010, 18:50 GMT)

I was at his appearance on Sunday at the Rose Bowl for Hampshire. His whole demeanor and attitude seemed as though hes saw the whole day as a chore or some sort of obligation.I have been a member of Hampshire for a number of years and can count the number of times he a played on the fingers of one hand. He is a Great player, and totally central to any future England plans.I wish him well, but whoever he joins, i predict they wont see a lot of him.

Posted by rogojo on (June 17, 2010, 18:35 GMT)

Would it be too politically incorrect to ask the question "are central contracts a good thing ?" For the average spectator, I mean. It used to be nice - quite a few years ago, admittedly - to go and watch a county game (when there wasn't a test match on at the same time) and stand a good chance of seeing half a dozen England players. Doesn't happen much now, does it. Is the England team really that much better or more consistent now that the players are on central contracts ? I suspect not. And are they really motivated to play the occasional four-day game in front of 200 spectators and a dog when they don't have to ?

Posted by TheBigShip on (June 17, 2010, 18:34 GMT)

I was at his appearance on Sunday at the Rose Bowl for Hampshire. His whole demeanor and attitude seemed as though hes saw the whole day as a chore or some sort of obligation.I have been a member of Hampshire for a number of years and can count the number of times he a played on the fingers of one hand. He is a Great player, and totally central to any future England plans.I wish him well, but whoever he joins, i predict they wont see a lot of him.

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