IPL 8: Rejected by England, Kevin Pietersen set to join Sunrisers Hyderabad
London: With his England comeback dreams over, swashbuckling batsman Kevin Pietersen is now set to join IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad as the play-offs race hots up at the business end of the T20 cricket tournament.
The former England batsman was expecting a recall in the national side ahead of the Ashes, especially after his triple century for Surrey against Leicestershire, but new ECB director Andrew Strauss shut the doors on him citing "trust" issues.
Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday announced the arrival of Pietersen, who will join the team in Hyderabad on Friday.
SRH had agreed to pay Rs 20 million for the former Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils player at the pre-season auction in Bengaluru.
But Pietersen reached an agreement with the Hyderabad-based franchise to allow him to head back to play county cricket in a bid to make an England comeback. He is now eager to play for SRH.
"Under the agreement of releasing me from my IPL contract, Sunrisers Hyderabad have the right to recall me for the final stages of the tournament, so on Friday - at their request - I'll be travelling out to India. It'll give me a good opportunity to cool down and assess what I'm going to do next. I'm just sorry it won't be putting on an England shirt," he said.
"He will return to India adding additional firepower to the Orange Army's top order as it bids to seal a top-four berth, he will be available for selection for Sunrisers Hyderabad's last home game against Mumbai Indians on Sunday, 17th of May," it said.
Hyderabad currently lie third in the overall tables with 14 points thanks to a solid run of form that has seen the squad win four of their last five matches, the team said.
Pietersen is currently in fine form, having scored a triple-century for county side Surrey a day ago.
"His return will strengthen Sunrisers Hyderabad's already formidable batting line-up led by Captain David Warner,
currently the leading run-scorer in the IPL," it said.
"It is great news that KP will be joining us earlier than planned. To add a world-class batsman to our squad at the
business end of the tournament is a huge bonus, we look forward to welcoming him to our squad," said Tom Moody, Head Coach, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Pietersen, or KP as he is known, made his IPL debut in 2009 and has played 32 games so far, scoring 928 runs at a
strike rate of 136.07.