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Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Thursday, 9 September 2010 11:33 UK

Kevin Pietersen's Ashes warm-up in South Africa cleared

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen is desperate to regain his best form ahead of the Ashes

England batsman Kevin Pietersen has received clearance from Cricket South Africa to play for Kwa-Zulu Natal Dolphins in October.

Pietersen will play two four-day games for the South African franchise as a warm-up for this winter's Ashes.

The South African-born batsman is keen to recover his form and recently joined Surrey on loan after being left out of England's one-day series with Pakistan.

"I'm keen to get as much cricket as I can under my belt," said Pietersen.

"I want to do that before a challenging and exciting winter.

"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."

We're very pleased Kevin is seeking to get some more high quality cricket in at a crucial period before the Ashes

England team director Andy Flower

Pietermaritzburg-born Pietersen, who began his career with Natal before joining English county side Nottinghamshire in 2001, will play the two games between 7-17 October ahead of the Ashes series in Australia,. which starts in November.

A club official of the Durban-based Dolphins had earlier claimed Pietersen had agreed to play for the franchise without a wage, adding: "It is a win-win situation.

"Kevin will play two SuperSport Series matches for us. We are not paying him anything and he gets to prepare for the Ashes."

The 30-year-old has received clearance from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to play in South Africa.

Pietersen, player of the tournament as England won the ICC World Twenty20 earlier this year, was dropped by England for the one-day and Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan after a notable drop in form in the past year.

The right-hander has passed 50 for England just once this season, and the last of his 16 Test centuries was scored against West Indies in March 2009.

He was then fined an undisclosed sum by the ECB this week after posting a message on Twitter, which contained an expletive, announcing he had been dropped.


However, he did hit 116 for Surrey in a 40-over game against Sussex at Hove at the weekend - though he followed that up with a second-ball duck on Tuesday in a County Championship match against Glamorgan.

England team director Andy Flower said: "We're very pleased Kevin is seeking to get some more high quality cricket in at a crucial period before the Ashes.

"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 and desire to work on his batting and 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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see also
Pietersen fails but Surrey on top
07 Sep 10 |  Counties
Pietersen fined for Twitter rant
06 Sep 10 |  England
Pietersen hits ton as Surrey tie
04 Sep 10 |  Counties
Pietersen apologises for outburst
01 Sep 10 |  England
England drop Pietersen from squad
31 Aug 10 |  England

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