England batsman Kevin Pietersen is to make a return to South African cricket having agreed to play five matches for the Durban-based KwaZulu-Natal Dolphins in the country’s domestic Twenty20 championship.
The 35-year-old had hoped to return to the country of his birth with England when they tour later in the year, but having been overlooked for this year`s Ashes victory over Australia that seems highly unlikely.
“I’m very excited to return to Durban in a few weeks’ time and contribute towards the Dolphins’ cause,” Pietersen said in a statement from the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Cricket Union on Tuesday.
“Having grown up in KZN it is obviously a place that means something quite special to me and to have the opportunity to play there again is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Pietersen will play five games between Oct. 29-Nov. 15 for the province where he made his first-class debut aged 17 in 1997, bowling off-spin and batting low down the order.
He was later lured to England with the help of his late mentor Clive Rice and went on to become that country’s highest international run-scorer with 13,779 runs across all formats.
Having been dropped by England in 2014 and told there was no way back, Pietersen has focused on domestic Twenty20 cricket and has played for the Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad (all India), St Lucia Zouks (Caribbean), Melbourne Stars (Australia) and Surrey (England).
Pietersen played two first-class games for the Dolphins in 2010 in a bid to regain form ahead of that year’s Ashes series.