Pietersen returns to roots with Dolphins
With his England career now firmly behind him, Kevin Pietersen will return to his roots in Kwa-Zulu Natal this winter having signed to play for the Durban-based Sunfoil Dolphins in their Ram Slam T20 campaign.
Pietersen, who was educated at Maritzburg College and emigrated from South Africa in 2001, played two first-class matches for the Dolphins in October 2010 in the build-up to England's successful Ashes campaign but has never yet played in the country's T20 competition.
"I'm very excited to return to Durban in a few weeks' time and contribute towards the Sunfoil Dolphins' cause," Pietersen said. "Having grown up in KZN it is obviously a place that means something quite special to me and to have the opportunity to play there again is something I'm really looking forward to."
Pietersen, who scored a national-record 13,779 runs across all formats for England in the course of a nine-year career, has not played for England since being sacked in the aftermath of 5-0 Ashes whitewash in 2013-14.
Clamours for a recall intensified earlier this season following England's ignominious group-stage exit at the World Cup, with Pietersen warming to the theme with a career-best 355 not out for Surrey against Leicestershire at The Oval.
However, Andrew Strauss, the incoming director of England cricket, closed the door on that prospect in a face-to-face meeting in May, before confirming this week that England had "moved on" from Pietersen in the wake of their 3-2 victory in the recent Ashes.
South Africa's Ram Slam will be the fifth domestic T20 competition that Pietersen has featured in, following stints with Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League and Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast.
"The Ram Slam T20 looks to be an exciting tournament and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the action for the first time this summer," Pietersen said. "The Dolphins have some talented individuals and hopefully I can contribute towards the team's success during my time with them."
Lance Klusener, the Dolphins head coach, believes that Pietersen can help his team win back the title they last held in 2013-14. Pietersen will be available for five Ram Slam matches in a two-week spell from late October until mid-November.
"It's very exciting to have a player of Kevin's ability join us for a portion of the Ram Slam T20 tournament," Klusener said. "We've won the tournament before and hopefully his presence will aid in us challenging for the title once more."