Kevin Pietersen: Surrey re-sign ex-England batsman for T20 Blast

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen has become a T20 specialist since the end of his England career in 2014

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has re-signed for Surrey to play in this summer's T20 Blast competition.

The 36-year-old will play his first game against Essex at The Oval on 19 July and then will be available for the rest of the tournament.

Pietersen first joined Surrey in 2010 and made his last appearance in England in June 2015, when he did not bat in a rain-affected game against Sussex.

He recently helped Quetta Gladiators reach the Pakistan Super League final.

Pietersen has played mostly T20 cricket since appearing in the last of his 104 Tests in 2014.

Kevin Pietersen on Twitter

He is England's third-highest run scorer in international T20 cricket behind Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales, and was part of the England team that won the World Twenty20 title in 2010.

South Africa-born Pietersen revealed the news via video on his Facebook page while playing golf at Wentworth.

"I am so, so happy to be back with Surrey and back playing in England," he said.

"I love playing in England, I love playing at The Oval and I've always loved the dressing room at The Oval."

'Massive boost for the competition'

Surrey won the inaugural county T20 competition in 2003 and have been losing finalists on two occasions since then, most recently to Northants in 2013.

Pietersen will miss the first four group games of the 2017 competition, but will be available for the other 10 matches and the knockout stage, should Surrey get that far.

"Re-signing KP is a massive boost to the club and the T20 Blast competition," Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart told the club website.

"To have a player of his undoubted calibre available to us will add strength and experience to our squad and I'm sure all our fans will enjoy seeing him back playing in England again.

"His work ethic and appetite for success are infectious and our squad have always enjoyed having him around the dressing room and performing out in the middle."

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen helped Melbourne Stars to the semi-finals of Australia's Big Bash in January

KP's recent form

Pietersen began the winter in South Africa playing for Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge and scored 198 runs in five innings, including 81 off 46 balls against Warriors in December.

From there, he travelled to Australia for the Big Bash tournament, contributing 268 runs in eight innings to help Melbourne Stars reach the semi-finals.

In February's Pakistan Super League, he had two ducks in his first three innings, but bounced back with two half-centuries, including a match-winning 88 not out off 42 balls against Lahore Qalandars, in which he hit eight sixes.

But he, along with England's Tymal Mills and Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright, opted not to take part in the final because of security concerns about playing in Lahore.

Michael Vaughan
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan is delighted to see his old team-mate back - even if he won't be playing for Yorkshire