England's maverick batting star Kevin Pietersen has made it clear that his stint with Surrey in the T20 blast would be his farewell season in England cricket.
The 36-year old former England batsman re-signed with the county in March and will play his first game against Essex at The Oval on 19 July. He has not played an international match since England sacked him in 2014 and last played county cricket in 2015.
"I am still playing some of the best cricket of my career," said Pietersen. Now a global T20 trotter, Pietersen has two years left on his contract with Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash domestic T20 competition and has signed up to play in South Africa's new T20 Global League this year, but will be available for the entire T20 Blast.
"I am fitter than I even was when I was playing for England. As long as I am fit and enjoying batting I will play on," he said. However, he added that his involvement in wildlife conservation programmes in South Africa will prevent him returning to play in England next season.
“I love Surrey. When they came to me with the offer of playing there instead of the Caribbean I was happy. Surrey have been so good to me. When I go back there training in a couple of weeks, it will be great. I can’t wait.”
"I'm building a house in the Kruger National Park so all of next summer I will be at my house in South Africa - so I won't be playing in England," he said.
Kevin Pietersen has predicted a bleak future for Test cricket. He believes within five-to-ten years there will be no Test cricket played outside of the major rivalries. The South African-born star listed the Ashes and Tests between South Africa and England alongside the Pakistan-India series – which hasn’t been contested since 2007 due to the volatile political divide between the two nations – as the three which would survive the looming cull.