London: After being passed over for the role of England ODI captain despite making his interest in the position known, Kevin Pietersen will mark his return from injury by captaining Surrey in this week's three-day game against Cambridge MCCU.
Pietersen, who was back in the nets at The Oval during last week's County Championship game against Leicestershire, will captain a young Surrey side featuring at least one player who will be making his first-class debut.
Pietersen had expressed his desire to captain England again, at least in ODIs, before that position went to Alastair Cook, with Stuart Broad named as Twenty20 captain in a major shake-up of the limited-overs setup.
Playing as stand-in captain for a Surrey side packed with youngsters while many of the seniors are rested will be no consolation, but if Pietersen felt any bitterness at his England snub he didn't show it, calling the decision to have different captains in each of the game's formats "fascinating".
"It's fascinating, we've now got three captains," he said. "It's the first time it's ever been done but they are young with fresh ideas and Andy [Flower] has had some good ideas so let's hope this is another one. The three are going to have to put a lot of work in and no-one knows whether it's going to work, so let's see how it goes."
Pietersen has not played since he withdrew from the national squad during the World Cup immediately after England's thrilling six-run victory over South Africa in Chennai, complaining that the pain of a hernia that he had sustained during the one-day series in Australia had become unbearable. He returned to England for surgery and after a period of rehabilitation returned to light practice, followed by more extensive net sessions.
Following their match against Cambridge MCCU, Surrey have a County Championship clash with Essex at Whitgift School, starting May 18, and if his recovery continues unhindered he could slot straight back into England's middle order for the first Test against Sri Lanka on May 26.