19 June 2010

Pietersen doesn't need a County and no County needs him

Apparently driving from Chelsea to the Rosebowl and back two or three times a year is a bit arduous for Kevin Pietersen so "playing" for Hampshire "doesn't work". With Pietersen an automatic pick for England whenever he's fit in all forms of cricket, you can see why Hampshire aren't that keen either.

For players like Paul Collingwood who have grown up with a County and then gone on to play for England in all forms of the game, they have their heritage to fall back on. If Collingwood plays just one or two games for his County a season, you sense that he's genuinely happy to be there and that his County colleagues are genuinely pleased to have an old friend back in the side. For someone like Pietersen who has no County heritage, having moved from South Africa initially and then from Nottinghamshire, neither he or his potential County colleagues want him to play one or two games. While they'd of course take someone of that talent for an extended period, that simply won't happen with Pietersen.

Given that's he's not up for travelling far from Chelsea (or even not that far as he sees Southampton as a long way away) it seems that Surrey might be his chosen County, but why would they want him? If I were them I'd offer the ECB a deal where by they pay Surrey for each game he plays up to say 10. If he plays more than that you can see the benefit to the County, but up to that point the only benefit is England's if he plays a County game to prepare for an international match. He might play a match-winning innings (unlikely given that he won't be fussed), but more importantly he'll be pushing out a core squad member and disrupting team spirit which over the season will be more important.

It'll be interesting to see if any County shows any interest. I can't see what's in it for them.


Allan Hawkey said...

I do hope Middlesex don't take him! Though it will be interesting to see how long he remains an automatic pick for England and, when his time comes, whether he still wants to play county cricket then.

If he does, then a county might be able to cash in with bucket loads of runs if he were sufficiently motivated. But even then, he seems to perform best on the big stage, so would he be able to do a Hick or Ramps on the county circuit? I have my doubts.

Allan Hawkey said...

I suppose the main attraction of KP is his marketing potential rather than his cricket - that's what any county that signs him is really buying.

Ed said...

I heard Alec Stewart talking about this....he said there was limited marketing opportunity because if you're a KP fan you're going to buy an England shirt with his name on rather than a Surrey shirt with his name on when he plays 2 games a year, if that.

As a result he said Surrey weren't interested as far as he knew, and I'd be surprised if they were and he wasn't aware.