Exiled England star, Kevin Pietersen, is set to make his long awaited return to British shores to play for Surrey this week.
Pietersen is set to play his first game in England this year against Middlesex at The Oval on Friday.
The batsman – who was dropped from the national team in February – returns for the remainder of the T20 Blast campaign, after captaining Delhi Darevils in the IPL.
He didn’t have much to shout about in the 20-over tournament on the subcontinent though, as his side ended the initial stage of the competition rooted to the bottom of the league.
In 11 matches he only managed to accumulate 294 runs, at an average below 30. Unlike in previous IPL campaigns, the former England batsman struggled a bit with the bat.
However, that was only up until his final appearance this season. A half-century against Kings XI Punjab was his best performance of the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to prevent another defeat, and elimination at the earliest stage of the competition.
Missing out on the play-offs is something that Surrey fans will have cheered on emphatically though. As a result, they now obtain the services of the former Test cricketer for a longer spell.
Pietersen has also signed up for St Lucia Zouks, who will compete in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League. But for the time being at least, he is settling in South London.
With the CPL beginning on July 11, Surrey will serve as a stop-gap between Pietersen’s endeavours in two of the highest-paid cricket competitions in the world.
It has been confirmed that the South African-born batsman will remain with Surrey until the culmination of the T20 Blast group stages at the very least.
The 33-year-old will only jet off to the West Indies after July 25, but would return for any prospective quarter-final or finals day action.
He may also represent the Browncaps in Division Two of the County Championship as well. Surrey currently sit sixth in the table, but will take anything less than promotion as a failure this year.
This Sunday, Surrey face Worcestershire, who are currently experiencing a strong start to the season. Ascension to second in the division has created a great prospect for promotion after the opening six matches.
In the shortest format of the sport, Surrey have thus far won and lost a game apiece. The introduction of Pietersen will be a massive lift to the entire side.