Pietersen dropped from England squad

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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen has been dropped from England's NatWest International Twenty20 and NatWest Series squads to face Pakistan, and will instead play for Surrey on loan for the remainder of the season.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the decision late this afternoon - although Pietersen himself had inadvertently done so several hours earlier, via his Twitter feed.

Pietersen, whose current county Hampshire have been unwilling to pick him when available between international fixtures since he announced in mid-season he would be leaving them, has struggled for runs in all forms of cricket since returning from England's ICC World Twenty20-winning trip to the Caribbean in May.

England therefore hit on the idea of brokering a loan agreement between Hampshire and Surrey, to try to help the South Africa-born batsman regain his best form in time for this winter's Ashes.

Pietersen, due to play his first match for Surrey in a Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture against Worcestershire at The Brit Insurance Oval tomorrow, said: "While I'm naturally disappointed to have been omitted from the England squad, I fully understand the reasons why and will be doing everything I can to get back into the England team.

"I have no issue with the selectors omitting me from the limited-overs squads, and my sole focus now is working on my game ahead of an exciting winter. "I would also like to add my huge thanks to Surrey for giving me this opportunity - and I hope I can repay them with some runs."

England squad for Natwest International Twenty20 series against Pakistan, starting September 5:

P Collingwood (Durham, captain), J Anderson (Lancashire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), S Broad (Nottinghamshire), S Davies (wkt, Surrey), C Kieswetter (Somerset), E Morgan (Middlesex), R Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), G Swann (Nottinghamshire), L Wright (Sussex), M Yardy (Sussex).

England squad for NatWest one-day series against Pakistan, starting September 10:

A Strauss (Middlesex, captain), J Anderson (Lancashire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), S Broad (Nottinghamshire), P Collingwood (Durham), S Davies (wkt, Surrey), E Morgan (Middlesex), A Shahzad (Yorkshire), R Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), G Swann (Nottinghamshire), J Trott (Warwickshire), L Wright (Sussex), M Yardy (Sussex).