Strauss says it would be “unhealthy” if Pietersen not aligned with county side

Sydney: Kevin Pietersen’s decision to quit county side Hampshire has given rise to rumours that he will available for hire outside of his commitments to the national side, something that England captain Andrew Strauss has termed as “unhealthy”.

Pietersen, who only recently made his first appearance for Hampshire in two years, cited travel between west London and Southampton as the reason for quitting the county club.

His decision to part ways with Hampshire has led to accusations that he prefers to keep his options open to lucrative openings in the Twenty20, led by the IPL, where Pietersen signed a two-year deal in 2009 worth up to 1.55 million dollars.

Strauss felt every English player should have a commitment with a county, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“I think that would be unhealthy not to have an international player aligned to a county, and probably wouldn``t set a great precedent,” Strauss said.

“It’s important that when England players are available to play for a county they give the wealth of their experience back to their counties,” he said.

Strauss’ Middlesex and Surrey, the two county sides based in London, are favourites to sign the Chelsea-based Pietersen should he decide to maintain a county link.

“KP is probably not going to play a huge amount of cricket, whoever he signs for. But he’s an asset for any side, and I’m sure there will be people eager to sign him. I can’t speak for Middlesex at this stage,” said Strauss.