Kevin Pietersen has agreed to re-join Surrey for this year’s NatWest T20 Blast to continue his globetrotting journey in the short format of the game, returning to the county that he left two years ago.
The 36-year-old has already in both the Big Bash League in Australia and the Pakistan Super League this year, although he has since pulled out of the Indian Premier League and declined to go into the Caribbean Premier League draft, citing his increasing workload.
Pietersen joined Surrey in 2010 after leaving Hampshire, and while he was involved in an acrimonious England exit following the 2014 winter Ashes series, he remains a well-liked character in the Surrey dressing room.
“I'm absolutely over the moon to be joining Surrey again. I've missed playing here at home and it's going to be a special feeling walking out at The Kia Oval again,” Pietersen said on Tuesday.
“We've got some seriously talented guys in our team and I'm very confident we can achieve something really special this season.”
Pietersen has not played in England since he left Surrey in 2015, and is due to make his return on 19 July when they take on Essex, along with making himself available for the remainder of the tournament.
The batsman also released a Facebook video to confirm the news while he played a round of gold at the famous Wentworth Golf Course, in which he expressed his excitement at returning to England as well as Surrey’s home of The Oval.
I'm so, so happy to be back playing in England. I love playing in England, I love playing at The Oval.
“Breaking news! I'm signing for Surrey for most of the T20 stuff in July and August,” Pietersen said in the video.
“I'm so, so happy to be back playing in England. I love playing in England, I love playing at The Oval. I've always loved the dressing room at The Oval. Exciting news.
“One of the great things is I'll be at home all summer. I've had an incredibly bad winter for travel and one of the reasons for doing it was to stay at home all summer.
“I'll spend a lot of time on the cricket fields of England, and on the golf courses of England too.”
The former ICC One Day International Player of the Year agreed to join Surrey last year for the County Championship campaign in the hope that it would open the door to an England recall, but that prospect ended when the ECB’s director of cricket, Andrew Strauss, confirmed that his England career was over.
Despite his long absence from English cricket, Surrey’s director of cricket, Alec Stewart, hailed his return as “massive boost” for the side ahead of the new season, and hopes that his presence in the dressing room will lift his teammates regardless of his performances.
“Re-signing KP is a massive boost to the club and the NatWest T20 Blast competition,” said former England captain Stewart.
“To have a player of his undoubted calibre available to us will add strength and experience to our squad and I'm sure all our fans will enjoy seeing him back playing in England again.
“His work ethic and appetite for success are infectious and our squad have always enjoyed having him around the dressing room and performing out in the middle.”
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