County news August 10, 2010

Flower expects Pietersen to find a county by 2011

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen will need to find a new county before the start of next season as part of his contractual obligations to the England & Wales Cricket Board, according to England's coach, Andy Flower.

Pietersen was one of four England players released from duty to take part in the Friends Provident t20 finals day at Rose Bowl on Saturday, but whereas Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were welcomed back into the fold by their respective counties, Essex and Nottinghamshire, Pietersen's employers Hampshire announced that they had no intention of selecting the batsman.

The stand-off was triggered by Pietersen's unilateral declaration, earlier in the summer, that he would be seeking a new base to fit in with his family lifestyle, with the London-based clubs, Surrey and Middlesex, being the only realistic options for a man who does not want to commute too far from his home in Chelsea.

For now, however, he remains in limbo, with Hampshire refusing to select him, just as they did when he was released to play in a CB40 fixture against Kent prior to the Lord's Test against Pakistan last month. And while Flower said he was unconcerned by Pietersen's itinerant status in the lead-up to this winter's Ashes, he said he believed that the ECB would expect their star player to be settled before the start of the 2011 home summer.

"I wouldn't be overly concerned if he hasn't sorted out his county situation by the time we get under way in Australia," said Flower. "But I think the ECB policy will be that all of our international players must be contracted to a county."

Pietersen has been struggling for form at Test level this year, although he did top-score for England with an unconvincing 80 in the nine-wicket victory over Pakistan at Edgbaston this week. He has not scored an international hundred in any form of the game since the Trinidad Test against West Indies in March 2009, but Flower was unconcerned by the loss of match practice in a form of the game that is far removed from the challenge that awaits at The Oval next week.

"It doesn't worry me because this is what we expected," Flower said. "I was asked a question about whether he would be made available and I said yes he would, although I expected Hampshire to maintain their position that they didn't want to pick him. If we felt very strongly about it and, for instance, there were first-class games that we wanted him to play leading up to a Test series, we would have sat down and spoken at greater length with Hampshire.

"But considering it was only a 40-over game leading up to the Test series and again this is only 20-over cricket this weekend, I don't think it is worth creating any issue over it."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    England is full of outside players..hate it

  • Sagir on August 12, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    KP is in horrendous form.. as a batsman, i have found him exciting but as a player, i wouldnt have wanted him in my team.. he is too inconsistent and has an aura of a 'star' around him.. it doesnt bode well for teams when a player's ego gets the better of every one.. and we have witnessed this already when KP was England's captain. i suppose Hampshire are doing right by not making any special favours for him and sticking to their regular team. i agree that that particular clause in the central contract is a bit nonsensical but then wouldnt you want your player to be involved in some cricket regularly to maintain his form and performance ? "Administrative issues to be left aside and not brought in where sports are concerned" is all well said but difficult to implement. KP has the right to live where he wants, but then a train ride to Hampshire is less than an hour away and people in London in commute longer than that. i see no reason why he cant adapt. i agree with ProteaMan totally.

  • Andre on August 12, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    The more I read of Pietersen and the way he is going about shunting everybody around, the more I say: "GOOD RIDDANCE" from South Africa

  • Jak on August 11, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    So, if KP scores several centuries and is the Man of the Series in the Ashes but still hasn't got a county next April, England will drop him next season? What a farce that would be but apparently that would be supported by several commenters here. The problem is the international schedule that doesn't allow players to move smoothly back and forth from England to their county. Let's have less international cricket and re-build the county game, I say. I would also abandon the central contracts system and have a pay-per-game fee structure that ensures the county and the country share a decent pay packet to each cricketer.

  • Premchand on August 11, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    English Fox color changes from Blue to real... Yes their team is winning more often now than ever, able to get good players like morgan, bresnan, trott...So the old cherry pietersen tastes little sour. I think it will be a good lesson for all kolpak players to support their mother country rather than money country.

  • Bang on August 11, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    This is a fair deal. KP wants to be a family man, Hampshire does not want him. So he should now start knocking club doors for a job.

  • uthaman on August 11, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    For a moment i thought "KP must find a new country"

  • si on August 11, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Well said Chris, why would The Royals weaken their team with an out of form Pietersen. The comments regarding the value of him playing in a 40 over or 20 over game to improve his form are valid which is why Hampshire offered him the opportunity to play in a 2 day match with the 2nd X1.....supprisingly for a player who is keen to return to form, he refused. Well done Hampshire, the right decision moving forward.

  • Jal on August 11, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    . This ungrateful guy wasn't good enough to be the 12th man on South Africa. England welcomes him, he has one mediocre Ashes, gets signed to big endorsements, gets injured, complains, hits a couple 25's, droops numerous catches, gets injured, misses another Ashes, hits a couple 15s, whines out of one county, stinks it up in South Africa, cries about having to play "so far away from home", YOUR HOME IS SOUTH AFRICA, hits an 80 his best score in over a year, and the ECB say we are not worried. We will figure it out. Don't change yourself KP, were in the wrong. I wonder why England has been so mediocre.


  • Douglas on August 11, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    KP is demonstrating why he left SA. He could not do as he liked there, at the time England were anxious for someone with his talent so he walked in and enjoyed being top dog. Things are a little different now; England area lot more secure in their team, he has had and lost the captaincy, now his form has gone. He needs to play good cricket regularly to regain that form but his personality is not in his favour. He told Hampshire he was leaving ages ago so why should they select him now?

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