Kevin Pietersen, the former England captain and one of the highest paid cricketers in the world, is to join Surrey.
Pietersen Tweeted the move this afternoon, in a soon-deleted message that revealed that he has been dropped from the England squad to play Pakistan in a series of one-day internationals and Twenty20 games that begin on Friday.
As the man of the tournament when England won the Twenty20 World Cup earlier this year, the notoriously self-confident Pietersen indicated in his Twitter message that he did not think much of being dropped.
“Yep.. Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too.. Its a fuck up!! Surrey have…”
The move by the England selectors, however, may be aimed at giving Pietersen more batting time in the long-form of the game ahead of this winter’s Ashes tour to Australia.
South African-born Pietersen, 30, expressed a wish to play for a London-based side earlier this year in order to be closer to his home and new-born baby. Pietersen, on an England central contract, has not played for his present county, Hampshire, since the summer of 2008.
And when Middlesex abandoned their interest in signing the player earlier this week, Surrey stepped in.
It means that Pietersen could turn out at The Oval for his new club as soon as tomorrow evening’s 40 overs game against Worcestershire.
Surrey’s four-day county championship game against Glamorgan, starting next Tuesday, may be a more likely debut fixture, after which the side has one further four-day game at Bristol before the end of the season.
Pietersen joining Surrey could be a massive boost to the annual Croydon cricket festival at Whitgift School, where Surrey usually play a county championship match and a one-dayer.