Pietersen signs on with Surrey

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/k/kp.jpg' class='caption'> England batsman Kevin Pietersen will play for Surrey next season after signing a one-season deal with the English county club.

Updated: November 22, 2010 12:18 IST
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England batsman Kevin Pietersen will play for Surrey next season after signing a one-season deal with the English county club.

Pietersen, who is currently in Australia for the Ashes series that starts in Brisbane on Thursday, had spent the end of the 2010 season on loan at the Brit Oval after announcing his plans to quit Hampshire, another southern county at the end of the campaign.

"I'm delighted to be playing for Surrey next season, as I really enjoyed my time with them at the end of this year," Pietersen said in a Surrey statement issued on Monday.

"I hope I can get some games in over the summer and spend time at this great club, meeting more of the staff and supporters. I look forward to catching up with the guys when I get back from the Ashes."

Pietersen's Surrey contract will run concurrently with his England central contract, funded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

As with other centrally contracted players, Pietersen's availability to represent his new county will be governed by England coach Andy Flower and the England team management.

Given his status as a regular for England sides in all three international formats - Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket - Surrey may not see much of their new signing unless he is dropped from the national set-up.

Pietersen has struggled to get back to the superlative form he showed before an Achilles injury ruled him out of most of last year's Ashes series although the 30-year-old still has an average of nearly 48 from 66 Tests.

He has not made a Test century since the West Indies series in March last year and that led to the South Africa born batsman omitted from England's end-of-season one-day matches against Pakistan in a bid to find some first-class form at The Oval.

Surrey chief executive Paul Sheldon said: "It is a real privilege for Surrey to have signed one of England's greatest players.

"When Kevin played for us last season, he was a strong positive influence in the dressing room, especially with our younger players.

"Although there is a packed schedule of International cricket in 2011, I know that whatever contribution he can make to the club will be of immense value. Meanwhile, we have sent Kevin and our other England squad players our very best wishes for the Ashes series starting on Thursday."

Pietersen joined Hampshire from Nottinghamshire, where he began his career in England, in 2004.

A year later he made his Test debut against Australia in a series that culminated with his Ashes-clinching 158 at The Oval.

After his loan spell at Surrey, Pietersen had a brief stint last month playing for South African side Kwazulu Natal Dolphins where he was coached again by longstanding mentor Graham Ford.

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