Kevin Pietersen’s controversial England exit could yet prove a boon for Surrey, according to the county’s new coach, who has known the star batsman since he was a schoolboy in South Africa.
The 33-year-old may be England’s leading all-time run-scorer across all international format but that didn’t stop officials announcing his career for his adopted country was over following the team’s 5-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia.
Apart from statements stressing the need for team rebuilding and loyalty to Test captain Alastair Cook, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have so far refused to specify why exactly they ditched Pietersen.
But new Surrey coach Graham Ford expects Pietersen to respond with runs for The Oval-based county.
“He’s a good enough player to prove a point in any format,” Ford said Monday.
“He’ll certainly entertain and it will be great for the fans to come down and have a look at him and see just how good he is,” Ford added.
“Unfortunately he’s got to move on from international cricket.
“The news was surprising. I don’t really know what went on, but I have known Kevin for a long time and I’ve always found him to be a very positive individual and I’m sure he’s going to be extremely positive in our dressing room.”
Meanwhile Surrey and England fast bowler Chris Tremlett was at a loss to explain Pietersen’s international exile.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s happened,” said Tremlett. “I’m sure Kevin was just trying to be honest in his opinions.
“There have been things that have happened over the years and the ECB have come to the decision they want to move on and try new players.
“It’s a great shame for the world of cricket. Kevin is one of the best players, not just in England, but around the world.”
Pietersen will return to Surrey once he has fulfilled his commitments in the Indian Premier League.