Flower - KP needs new county
England batsman will have to find new deal after Hampshire exit
Last Updated: 11/08/10 10:37pm
Pietersen: Fleeting appearances in county cricket
England coach Andy Flower says Kevin Pietersen will be required to find a new county by next season in order to comply with England's contractual policy.
The batsman is currently on the books at Hampshire but rarely plays and will leave the county at the end of the current campaign.
Pietersen has not agreed a deal with a new team but Surrey and Middlesex, two sides based close to his home in Chelsea, are thought to be his preferred choices.
Although Flower says there is no rush to find a new county, he did spell out that the 30-year old would eventually have to sign a deal for 2011.
"I wouldn't be overly concerned if he hasn't sorted out his county situation by the time we get under way in Australia (at the start of the Ashes in November)," Flower said.
"But I think the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] policy will be that all of our international players must be contracted to a county."
Pietersen was released to play on Friends Provident t20 finals day but Hampshire have made it clear he will not be selected, the same stance they took when he was made available for a Clydesdale Bank 40 match in July.
Flower says that the national set-up will not be interfering with matters as he believes a 20-over contest is not vital to the batsman's preparations for the third Test with Pakistan next Wednesday.
He added: "It doesn't worry me because this is what we expected.
"I was asked a question about whether he would be made available and I said yes he would. I expected Hampshire to maintain their position that they didn't want to pick him.
"If we felt very strongly about it and, for instance, there were first-class games that we wanted him to play leading up to a Test series, we would have sat down and spoken at greater length with Hampshire.
"But considering it was only a 40-over game leading up to the Test series and again this is only 20-over cricket this weekend, I don't think it is worth creating any issue over it."