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Pietersen given permission to play for South African side

Kevin Pietersen

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen has been given the all-clear to play for South African franchise Kwa-Zulu Natal in October to gain match practice ahead of this winter’s Ashes.

Pietersen is currently on loan at Surrey, where he is playing their final two fixtures of the County Championship season, after being omitted from England’s squad for the limited over series against Pakistan.

The 30-year-old batsman will then head out to the country of his birth in October to turn out in two four-day games for the Durban-based Dolphins, who he started his career with in 1997, after receiving clearance from Cricket South Africa.

“I’m extremely keen to get as much cricket as possible under my belt before a challenging and exciting winter,” said Pietersen.

“My sole focus is to continue playing a leading role for England and joining Natal is the perfect opportunity to prepare in excellent conditions immediately before the Ashes.

“These two matches would enable me to work on my game against the Kookaburra ball in southern-hemisphere conditions, which is the ideal preparation for Australia.”

Pietersen has not scored an international century for 18 months and England coach Andy Flower is hoping the short-term switch will help him regain form before the Ashes series, starting in Brisbane on November 25.

“We’re very pleased Kevin is seeking to get some more high quality cricket at a crucial period before the Ashes,” said Flower.

“We are well aware of Kevin’s attention to detail and thoroughness when it comes to preparation, and he would gain a great deal from working on his batting against tough opposition in South Africa.

“Kevin’s commitment, his desire to work on his batting and to play a significant part in a successful England team is unquestioned and this proposed arrangement with Natal, initiated by Kevin himself, further underlines that.”

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