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Page last updated at 22:00 GMT, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 23:00 UK

England batsman Kevin Pietersen told to find new county

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen last scored a Test century for England in March 2009

England coach Andy Flower says star batsman Kevin Pietersen must find a new county by next season.

Pietersen, 30, said in June he would quit Hampshire - who have since refused to pick him - at the end of the summer but has not yet joined another county.

Flower said he would not be too worried if the situation was not resolved by the start of the Ashes in November.

But he added: "I think the policy will be that all our international players must be contracted to a county."

Hampshire have twice refused to pick Pietersen since he severed his ties with them, despite being released by England to play for the county.

The latest occasion was on Monday after the national team's victory in the second Test against Pakistan.

Pietersen and three other England players were released to take part in Saturday's Friends Provident t20 finals day at the Rose Bowl. However, Hampshire declined to select him.

"The decision remains consistent with the club's policy to stand by the players who have performed well for them in limited-overs cricket so far this season," explained a statement on Hampshire's website.

606: DEBATE

"Hampshire would like to re-iterate that this is, by no means, a reflection on Kevin Pietersen as a player or as an individual.

"However, since Kevin has already made it clear that he intends to play cricket elsewhere next season, the club believes the team's best interests are best served by selecting those who have performed so well so far this season, many of whom are aspiring England players, themselves."

Nevertheless, Flower said he was not overly concerned by the current situation.

"It doesn't worry me because this is what we expected," said Flower.

"I expected Hampshire to maintain their position that they didn't want to pick him.

"If we felt very strongly about it and, for instance, there were first-class games that we wanted him to play leading up to a Test series, we would have sat down and spoken at greater length with Hampshire."

Pietersen made his first Hampshire appearance in two years in a Friends Provident t20 win over Surrey in June.

His agent, Adam Wheatley, said at the time the batsman's reason to quit Hampshire was "a geographical one" with Pietersen living in London.

Flower also praised Pietersen, who hit 80 runs in the first innings of England's second Test against Pakistan. England have a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

"The fact that he was dropped a few times shouldn't detract from the innings. He got 80 in a difficult situation and worked extremely hard for those runs," said the England coach.



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see also
England complete comfortable win
09 Aug 10 |  England
England four available for finals
09 Aug 10 |  Cricket
England v Pakistan day four photos
09 Aug 10 |  England
Pietersen confirms Hampshire exit
17 Jun 10 |  Hampshire
Hampshire confirm Pietersen deal
26 Oct 04 |  Hampshire


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