Kevin Pietersen is immune from potential ECB disciplinary action over his autobiography after Surrey cancelled his registration but the fallout could yet have a detrimental effect on his chances of continuing his cricket career in England
KP: The Autobiography is due to be launched on October 9 and Pietersen could have faced a charge of bringing the game in disrepute for details of his sacking by the ECB in March and events on the disastrous Ashes tour last winter. Now, as a free agent, the ECB will be unable to punish Pietersen.
Pietersen also does not have to seek the ECB's permission to play in the Big Bash in Australia or the IPL - consent that may have been refused following revelations in Pietersen's book. He has signed a two-year deal to play for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash and is also likely to return for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
The confidentiality clause that followed the cancellation of Pietersen's central contract expired on October 1 and his book is set to shed light on the acrimonious end to his time in the England team and the "text-gate" incident during England's series with South Africa in 2012 which threatened an end to his international career.
Pietersen's contract with Surrey ended on August 30 and despite voicing his intentions to play county cricket during September, Surrey decided not to consider him for the final weeks of the season.
He is expected to enter discussions with Surrey over a return in 2015 but any return to county cricket could potentially leave Pietersen open to retrospective disciplinary action by the ECB as well as bring tension between Surrey and the governing body. Although it might be premature to pronounce that his county career is over, its continuation might be regarded as problematic at best.
Pietersen's 2014 summer consisted entirely as a freelance T20 cricketer, firstly for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL where he made only one half-century in 11 innings. He fared even worse for Surrey in the NatWest Blast, averaging just 22.50 over 12 innings. He also played twice for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, scoring 23 and 7, having arrived at the tournament when his team were already knocked out.
Surrey's current chief executive, Richard Gould, is the favourite to fill the equivalent role at the ECB, after David Collier stood down at the end of the season. Gould will be anxious to delay any decision on Kevin Pietersen until the result of the ECB recruitment process is known.