Pietersen takes first step toward England return

KEVIN PIETERSEN has signed a contract to return to Surrey this summer.
Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen

The move gives the record-breaking batsman the opportunity to press for an England recall, after being sacked in February 2014 following the Ashes whitewash defeat in Australia.

Pietersen cleared the way for a return to The Oval by agreeing a release from the majority of his Indian Premier League contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad - which clashed with the start of the English domestic season - and he will be available for Surrey’s first LV= County Championship match against Glamorgan in Cardiff on April 19.

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Encouraged by new England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves’ indication that he may be back in the mix if he can impress again in county cricket, the 34-year-old Pietersen has two months to do that if he is to achieve his dream of a Test recall in time for this summer’s Ashes rematch.

Pietersen told Surrey’s website: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be back at Surrey.

“It’s a club very close to my heart - and (director of cricket) Alec Stewart, (coach) Graham Ford and everyone at the club has been exceptionally supportive.

“There is a fantastic group of lads here, and I hope we can deliver what the great Surrey fans want to see - lots of runs and comprehensive victories.”

Stewart added: “A Kevin Pietersen with ambitions to play for England and a real determination to score big runs for Surrey will be a huge asset to us.”