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“I’ve had some of my best moments in cricket at the Kia Oval and I’m really excited at the prospect of getting back out there”
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has agreed to represent Surrey in Twenty20 matches during the upcoming county season after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that the South African-born batsman’s central contract had been terminated.
The English Twenty20 tournament has undergone a major makeover as it has been renamed the NatWest T20 Blast and most games will now take place on Friday nights.
Surrey’s director of cricket, Alec Stewart, was ecstatic to have acquired the services of Pietersen as it is highly likely to lead to more matches being sold out.
“We are delighted to have agreed terms with Kevin, and to have a player of his ability at the Kia Oval,” Stewart told Surrey TV. “Unsurprisingly there was a great deal of interest in Kevin from around the world, but he has made it very clear that he wants to play at Surrey.
“It is not only good news for the club but for the domestic game in this country. We are now looking forward to watching him in the middle, scoring a bucketload of runs for Surrey.
“It all happened quickly and it was very straightforward. Now I am looking forward to seeing Kevin in a Surrey shirt. Once his IPL commitments are finished he is available for Surrey. It is predominantly a Twenty20 deal but that is not to say we won’t see him in a 50-over or a Championship game.”
Stewart revealed that Pietersen was also considering playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“There was competition from the Caribbean League but Kevin made it very clear that he wanted to play here at Surrey,” Stewart said. “Everything had to fit in within the salary cap and the cricket budget which I am charge off. I don’t want anyone to think we have spent millions on one player. We haven’t. He is playing for Surrey for the right reasons. He wanted to play for Surrey and made that very clear.
“It is not just great for Surrey. It is great for the domestic game as well. It will give the Twenty20 Blast a great little lift off. He is appreciative of the fact that Surrey took him on board when he finished with Hampshire. We also appreciate what he has done for us in the games he has played for us in the last three years. There haven’t been many but he has made it clear he likes walking through the gates here.”
Pietersen himself seemed to be over the moon at having inked a new deal with Surrey.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have agreed terms with Surrey and am thoroughly looking forward to playing my cricket for the club this summer,” he said. “I’ve had some of my best moments in cricket at the Kia Oval and I’m really excited at the prospect of getting back out there and playing in what will hopefully be a brilliant summer for us all at Surrey.”