Kevin Pietersen: Surrey omit ex-England batsman from squad

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen played 13 times for Surrey in the T20 Blast this year but has not featured in the County Championship

Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen will not feature in Surrey's final two games of the County Championship season.

The 34-year-old had stated in July that he would play in order to help the club's promotion bid in Division Two.

But Pietersen has been left out of the 13-man squad to play Worcestershire at New Road, starting on Tuesday.

"I was only going to play for Surrey if we had a realistic chance of gaining promotion. Now that's gone, I'm not playing," said Pietersen on Twitter.

Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart told BBC London 94.9 that, with their hopes of promotion slim, he and head coach Graham Ford favoured giving younger players experience.

"Graham and myself discussed the possibility of bringing Kevin in," said Stewart. "But, realistically, we have got just an outside chance of promotion.

"It is better for the future of the club if we give the likes of an Aneesh Kapil or Arun Harinath two first-class games to gain more experience to see how they could progress. That will stand us in good stead for next season."

Since being released from his central contract by the England & Wales Cricket Board in February, having been told he was no longer a part of the England team's plans, Pietersen has only played limited-overs cricket.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen was discarded by England after the Ashes whitewash in Australia last winter

He captained the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League earlier this year but apologised to supporters after the side won just two of 14 matches and finished bottom of the table.

He made 13 appearances for Surrey in the T20 Blast tournament, scoring 225 runs at an average of 22.50 as the Oval side were beaten at the semi-final stage.

However Pietersen, who has also featured for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, has not played for Surrey in the Championship or the One-Day Cup this year.

But, writing in his newspaper column in July, Pietersen said he would play Surrey's final two games of the campaign.

"Alec Stewart was keen to give the young guys experience and I respect his decision," Pietersen added on Twitter. "We have serious talent, which has the chance to flourish."

Surrey are currently third in Division Two, 32 points behind second-placed Hampshire with two games remaining, as they seek an immediate return to the top tier.

They travel to leaders Worcestershire this week but Stewart admits their hopes of promotion are "out of our control now".

The former England captain and wicketkeeper added: "There is no point looking at how the other sides are getting on. We have got to win both our games and win them well.

"Can we get maximum bonus points and force the win at Worcester? That is the first target. Then we will have a look to see what the other sides are doing.

"We have had some injuries and to have Jade Dernbach and Matthew Dunn back is a big plus. If those two can hit their straps it will cause problems.

"We can only do what we can do. The idea is to play very good cricket."

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