Monday, 22 November 2010

Kevin Pietersen is a Surrey player

That brings Surrey's total number of players on the Ashes tour to three, level with Middlesex. Excellent news.

Seriously though, what exactly does this mean for the club? Well firstly its a good bit of business, he won't cost much, if anything thanks to his central contract, and he might attract a few more casual supporters to the Twenty20s. I suspect the marketing people at the club are already designing the T20 advertising with his face all over it.

The reality is though, he won't play that much at all. He has his IPL duties to fulfil, and as much as we need a number three, I don't think he'll forgo $1.5m or whatever it is to help us out there, and since he signed that contract before he signed for Surrey, there's no reason he should anyway. There's the World Cup before that which he'll play a big part in and then England play Sri Lanka in May and June, and India and July, August and into September. At best he'll play a Twenty20 here and a CB40 there.

In the long term it is in the ECB's best interests to ensure that England players are more readily available for the Twenty20 Cup matches, but the schedule is set in stone for 2011 so Pietersen in a Surrey shirt will be a rare beast indeed.

I'm happy he's joined the club though. He's a world beater and any time he can spend at the club, with younger players aspiring to play for England, like Roy and Hamilton-Brown will be immensely valuable. I don't buy the theory that his ego makes him a bad role model, his work ethic and sheer talent make him the best possible role model in my view. If this crop of young players can develop the thirst for runs that KP has, we'll have some serious talent on our hands.

Ultimately this changes little for KP and Surrey. His commute is cut significantly, which is nice, but not a great deal else will alter. As much as I'd like to play it terribly cool and pretend it makes no difference, it was a thrill to watch him bat in a Surrey shirt and it will be every time England let him off the leash in 2011 and beyond. Welcome to Surrey Kevin.


Rich Abbott said...

I think it's great. As you say, he's not going to play much at all, at least initially. But when he's not with England he now has a London training base – and this is where he might help Surrey most. In my limitted experience of the man himself he seems a really good bloke, always willing to give up his time (contrary to popular opinion). This view is backed up by most of the journalists I know, and I know he was well received during his brief Surrey stint last season. I really think KP will be the sort of bloke to help out youngsters in the nets when he has the time. He's much more approachable than most people think. In Thorpey we've lost one inspirational example for our young second teamers, but we may well have gained (the rare services of) another. Just think what Jason Roy could learn off him.

Also, with a young family settled in London - it wouldnt surprise me if KP gave the international game another 3-4 years and then called it a day, in which case I could see us getting a couple of years out of him. He loves his cricket and works seriously hard, I'm far from convinced he'd jack the whole thing in along with international retirement.

Anyway, welcome KP. Let's get behind him and convince him he wants to play for Surrey as much as possible!

GreenJJ said...

A number of very good points Rich, as ever! Especially about Thorpe leaving a bit of a void. Good to know first hand that he's generous with his time, that's encouraging. We want him to know that Surrey a place he's welcome, the more he feels comfortable the more he'll be there, you're absolutely bang on the money.

Jason Roy, injected with a bit of KP (for want of a better phrase...) could be spectacular.

Chappers said...

i had a chat to someone (who shall remain nameless) about the from Surrey Cricket -and what Surrey have to gain is all their young players with their ego's seeing how hard he works to be as good as he is.

My conversation with the senior Surrey person went along the lines of...
Me: How did KP fit in at the oval and will he sign. (it was a week or so ago)
Answer: Probably and - there were a lot of shocked people in the Surrey dressing room, especially the young players seeing him arrive at a stupidly early time in the morning for practicing, then practicing with the team. Going to the gym when he was out and practicing more at the close of play.
It has been a while since there was someone that dedicated at the club.

I don't think that is the worst answer I have ever heard.

Rich Abbott said...

Ha, agreed. Enjoying the KP love. It's all he wants, and doesn't always gets. Genuinely feel he's a misunderstood character - but Surrey, Sheldon and co seem to 'get' him. Maybe we can have our belated beer after his first century early in the new season!

GreenJJ said...

Chappers - I had a feeling that might be the response from the club, very good to hear all this positivity!

Rich - Sheldon seems to think he might be available for the first CC game of the season, and boy do we need him! Definitely up for a beer or two next season mate.

wouldliketoeat said...

I think it's great news and look forward to seeing him in the Oval for some energetic T20 fun! Excellent blog post by the way...