County news August 10, 2010

Hampshire not interested in Pietersen for Finals Day

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Kevin Pietersen has wished his Hampshire colleagues the best of luck for their Friends Provident t20 semi-final against Essex on Saturday, after the county confirmed he won't be selected for the showpiece finals day at the Rose Bowl, despite being one of four England players made available for county duty by the England coach Andy Flower.

In a statement, Hampshire confirmed that the club's policy regarding Pietersen remains the same as when they declined to select him for a CB40 match against Kent last month, a move that stemmed from his comments earlier in the season, in which he confirmed he'd be leaving Hampshire when his contract expires at the end of the summer. He said the commute from his home in Chelsea made it impractical for him to continue at The Rose Bowl and Middlesex are currently the favourites to gain his signature.

"The decision remains consistent with the club's policy to stand by the players who have performed well for them in limited-overs cricket so far this season," read a statement from the county.

"Hampshire would like to re-iterate that this is, by no means, a reflection on Kevin Pietersen as a player or as an individual. However, since Kevin has already made it clear that he intends to play cricket elsewhere next season, the club believes the teams' best interests are best served by selecting those who have performed so well so far this season, many of whom are aspiring England players, themselves."

Pietersen responded in a post on his Twitter page, in which he played down any perceived falling-out. "I fully understand Hampshire's position in not selecting me for finals day," he wrote. "I wish them all the best on the day. I will be watching the lads!"

Although Pietersen made a significant contribution to England's nine-wicket victory against Pakistan at Edgbaston his 80 was a horribly scratchy innings which included three clear-cut dropped chances. Another innings before the third Test at The Oval, and in a format that would allow Pietersen to express himself, may have been welcome but Hampshire are sticking to the batting line-up that has impressed in the tournament to date, with the likes of Michael Lumb, Michael Carberry, Neil McKenzie and James Vince all making contributions.

"We are very pleased to be involved in Finals Day, particularly at The Rose Bowl," said Hampshire's chairman, Rod Bransgrove. "The players who have got the Royals to this point have made their county and everyone associated with the club very proud. We would, therefore, like to stand by them.

"We wish Kevin and England all the very best for the future and all their forthcoming internationals. We look forward to welcoming them back to The Rose Bowl for the England v Pakistan NatWest One-Day International at The Rose Bowl on September 22."

Hampshire's opponents in the semi-final, Essex, will have Alastair Cook available after he was also made available but that also poses some interesting selection questions. Cook would open the batting, but the combination of Mark Pettini and Ravi Bopara have proved successful in his absence and Cook's current form is woeful after a tough time against Pakistan.

However, Nottinghamshire are unlikely to have any issues including Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann in their starting line-up against Somerset for the other semi-final. Swann was named Man-of-the-Match in the second Test against Pakistan after a career-best 6 for 65 in the second innings and Broad also bagged six wickets in the game, although lost half his match fee after hurling the ball at Zulqarnain Haider on the third day.

"We will select the best players available to us and Stuart and Graeme will add significant strength to our team," said director of cricket Mick Newell. "We've used a lot of players to get to finals day and everyone has made a good contribution.

"I'll talk to the players who will have to make way for Stuart and Graeme but everyone understands that we will pick the team that will give us the best possible chance of winning the match and progressing to the final."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • redneck on August 10, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    who runs english cricket the ecb or the counties? i couldnt see this happening in australia for example. i recon the players home state would be told whos boss! english cricket need to look at why it exists, is it to create the strongest english team possible or is it to keep 20 odd struggling counties all on the bones of their ass afloat?

  • chilecricketer on August 10, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    As a Middx fan I´m not sure what we would be hoping to gain by signing him, maybe the odd shirt sale I guess and a few 20/20 appearances? When does the 1.5 hour drive to work bite him? I didn´t think he spent a great deal of time with his county?

  • cricfan02049100 on August 10, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    I was at Pietersens last (and only) 20/20 match for Hampshire this year, he was unimpressive,disinterested and seemed to treat the whole event as a bit of a chore. Hampshire are right to omit him from a squad that has fought hard and played well together despite loosing both captain Mascarenhas and wicket keeper Pothas as well as Kabir Ali to season ending injuries. Hampshire have stuck with 4 players (Vince,Wood,Briggs, and Bates) all of them under 20 years of age and all good bets as future England players. Whatever direction Kevins career takes I wish him all the best,he is a fantastic player and Englan need him,but his Hampshire time is long gone. Whoever he singns for in future season, im pretty sure they wont see a lot of him

  • cricfan02049100 on August 10, 2010, 17:21 GMT

    I was at Pietersens last (and only) 20/20 match for Hampshire this year, he was unimpressive,disinterested and seemed to treat the whole event as a bit of a chore. Hampshire are right to omit him from a squad that has fought hard and played well together despite loosing both captain Mascarenhas and wicket keeper Pothas as well as Kabir Ali to season ending injuries. Hampshire have stuck with 4 players (Vince,Wood,Briggs, and Bates) all of them under 20 years of age and all good bets as future England players. Whatever direction Kevins career takes I wish him all the best,he is a fantastic player and Englan need him,but his Hampshire time is long gone. Whoever he singns for in future season, im pretty sure they wont see a lot of him

  • kempson94 on August 10, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    i understand hants' position- the players that got them there should play. however i am furious that having paid through the nose for tickets hampshire are childishly refusing to let me and thousands of others see the world's best t20 player play. i hope they lose embaressingly.

  • WilliamJames on August 10, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    As a follower of Hampshire I totally agree with the stance of the club. One player can not be put ahead of the good of the team. Perhaps Pietersen may strengthen the batting but who are you going to drop from a top five of Jimmy Adams, Michael Lumb, Michael Carberry, James Vince and Neil McKenzie? All have made significant contributions this season with the exception of Lumb, however, he now looks to be putting that right and coming into form at the right time. Lets go Royals and take the trophy home (if we can do that playing on our own turf!) Just a quick shout for Michael Carberry to take over from Alaister Cook should he be 'rested' from the test squad.

  • Munkeymomo on August 10, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Actually Cook looks decent at domestic 2020 level, have seen him play some good innings, bit like Ian Bell, awhile back, even though he was useless at international 2020 level, he still looked good in a few games I saw him in (including some super sixes against glamorgan at the swalec), so dont be fooled into thinking domestic 2020 is a similar standard to international, while good, its not close.

  • Hayes_Close_End on August 10, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Posted by on (August 10 2010, 10:32 AM GMT) and Posted by cricketmad on (August 10 2010, 08:29 AM GMT) .

    Both wrong about Cook - he's had a pretty good season in T20, as he did last year, and is one of a handful of batsmen who have scored a T20 hundred. Perhaps you should follow cricket, maybe attend some games rather than copying what you have heard elsewhere. My bet is Essex will pick him and rightly so.

  • wondercloak on August 10, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    @ Trickstar, you're overlooking the point that the international players you are talking about (Gibbs, Hussey, Pollard, Vaas) are contracted for an entire T20 competition, not just for one matchday in this case. Hampshire's players have got them to the finals day, why mess the team combination for one man on one day? Give credit to those players who have got them there and let them play in front of their home crowd. It's what they deserve, not to be dropped for someone who's not even in form.

  • gudolerhum on August 10, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Well done Hants. KP is a good player but has shown he is not committed to the team. Play the ones who have got the team where it is.

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