Kevin Pietersen is returning to English cricket to play for Surrey in this summer’s NatWest T20 Blast.
The controversial former England batsman has not played top-level cricket on these shores since the 2015 season, when he tried and failed to win a return to the international set-up during a prolific spell with the Brown Caps.
Now predominantly a roving short-form specialist, playing in a variety of domestic tournaments around the globe, the 36-year-old will be back with the county he first signed for in 2010.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to be joining Surrey again. I’ve missed playing here at home and it’s going to be a special feeling walking out at The Kia Oval again,” he said.
“We’ve got some seriously talented guys in our team and I’m very confident we can achieve something really special this season.”
Pietersen is due to make his first appearance against Essex on July 19 and will be available for the remainder of the revamped competition.
Despite Pietersen’s strained and acrimonious relationship with the England and Wales Cricket Board, and some former team-mates within the Three Lions dressing room, he is well liked at Surrey, who have always been happy to have him on board.
While the club released the news via traditional methods, Pietersen posted a short video on his Facebook page, filmed while walking around Wentworth Golf Club.
In it he said: “Breaking news! I’m signing for Surrey for most of the T20 stuff in July and August. I’m so, so happy to be back playing in England. I love playing in England, I love playing at the Oval. I’ve always loved the dressing room at the Oval. Exciting news.
“One of the great things is I’ll be at home all summer. I’ve had an incredibly bad winter for travel and one of the reasons for doing it was to stay at home all summer. I’ll spend a lot of time on the cricket fields of England, and on the golf courses of England too.”
The news of a return to the county game comes after Pietersen withdrew from last month’s Indian Premier League auction citing his workload and also declined to go forward to the Caribbean Premier League draft, having previously played for St Lucia.
Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart said: “Re-signing KP is a massive boost to the club and the NatWest T20 Blast competition.
“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.”