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Kevin Pietersen confirms that he is to leave Hampshire

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen's appearances for Hampshire have been infrequent

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has confirmed that he is to leave Hampshire at the end of this season.

Pietersen made his first appearance in two years in last Sunday's Friends Provident t20 win over Surrey.

That was only his 11th Hampshire game in the last four years and his current Rose Bowl contract is due to expire.

"It's just a geographical issue," said his agent Adam Wheatley. "He and his family are in London, and the county is 90 minutes down the road."

"I have not had much opportunity to play for Hampshire but I want to thank the players, staff, chairman and fans, for the support I have had during my time at The Rose Bowl," said Pietersen, in a statement issued by his county.

KEVIN PIETERSEN FACT FILE
62 Tests
98 one-day internationals*
28 Twenty20 internationals
*includes two ODIs for ICC World XI

Since leaving Nottinghamshire at the end of the 2004 season, Pietersen has played just two Twenty20 games, seven County Championship matches and 17 one-dayers in six summers on Hampshire's books.

But he has been a centrally contracted England player for most of his time with Hampshire and, since making his Test debut in July 2005, he has made just one Championship appearance.

When asked after the game last Sunday evening, if he would like to feature more for his county, Pietersen told BBC Radio Solent: "Geographically, it just doesn't work. I live in Chelsea."

That would appear to indicate Pietersen's preference for one of the two London counties, Surrey or Middlesex. But Wheatley insists: "There have been no approaches at all.

"It's certainly not Kevin's intention to be a freelance cricketer as he would still be required to play for a county.

"I think now we've given notice to Hampshire, things may start to happen if there is some interest."

606: DEBATE
catches_win_matches

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that an association with a county is not essential, but is preferred.

"Technically speaking," said an ECB spokesman, "a player doesn't have to be registered with a county to be eligible for England.

"But, practically, it's in the best interest of the player and the England management that he is registered with a county.

"This is so the option exists for that player to go back to his county and play cricket when required, eg in between international series."

Pietersen will be back at The Rose Bowl next week, but only for England's one-day international series opener against Australia (22 June).

Hampshire chairman of cricket Rod Bransgrove added: "Given England's critical dependence on KP in all forms of cricket, we have not seen anything like as much of him as we would have liked over the past six years.

"He remains, however, a fantastic player and we wish him continued success wherever he plays."



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see also
Pietersen's Hants future in doubt
14 Jun 10 |  Hampshire
Pietersen pens new Hampshire deal
12 Dec 07 |  Hampshire
Ear-bashing convinced Pietersen
26 Oct 04 |  Hampshire
Hampshire confirm Pietersen deal
26 Oct 04 |  Hampshire
Pietersen quits Nottinghamshire
12 Oct 04 |  Nottinghamshire


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