Kevin Pietersen: Surrey T20 Blast stint set to be last in England
Kevin Pietersen says he is unlikely to play in England again after his stint with Surrey in this summer’s T20 Blast competition.
The former England batsman, 36, re-signed with the county in March and will play his first game against Essex at The Oval on 19 July.
He has not played an international match since England sacked him in 2014 and last played county cricket in 2015.
“I am still playing some of the best cricket of my career,” said Pietersen.
Now a T20 specialist, Pietersen has two years left on his contract with Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash domestic T20 competition and has signed up to play in South Africa’s new T20 Global League this year, but will be available for the entire T20 Blast.
“I am fitter than I even was when I was playing for England. As long as I am fit and enjoying batting I will play on,” he said.
However, he added that his involvement in wildlife conservation programmes in South Africa will prevent him returning to play in England next season.
“I’m building a house in the Kruger National Park so all of next summer I will be at my house in South Africa – so I won’t be playing in England,” he said.
‘Totally cool’ with change in IPL perception
Pietersen pulled out of this year’s Indian Premier League auction but appeared in the competition for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009 and 2010, Delhi Daredevils in 2012 and 2014, and Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016.
His participation in the competition led to disputes with the England and Wales Cricket Board during his international career but Pietersen said it was “fantastic” to see the likes of current England internationals Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes playing in this year’s event.
“I’m lucky to have these T20 tournaments where I can still produce on the big stages. This is the environment I have been in since 2008,” he said.
“This got me in a lot of my trouble. I was promoting it and saying we needed to get more English players into the set-up.
“I was painted as the bad guy and I’m totally cool with it because the public can see the picture that is now being rolled out.”
“It is nice to see the youngsters, Chris Woakes going out there, Ben Stokes going out there.
“I was out there commentating and it is great to see these youngsters doing what they do, it was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t be happier.”