By Jock Strapp, Cricket Correspondent
Cricket legend Kevin Pietersen has been offered a career lifeline with minor counties side, Suffolk.
The combative batsman was furious this week when the ECB confirmed he would never play for England again, claiming there was a “trust” issue between him and the national set-up.
Pietersen was furious, having just smashed a career-best 355 not out to prove he was on top form and ready to play test cricket again.
But after fearing his career was now in a tailspin, Pietersen has been offered the chance to shine at Suffolk, where officials say trust is not a major issue.
County selector Alfred Carstairs said: “The only thing we trust is that if he played for us against the likes of Bedfordshire or Norfolk, he’d get a world-record number of runs.
“There is just no way that Andrew Strauss and the rest of the ECB could ignore such performances, and he’d be back in the England team in time for the next Ashes series later this summer.”
Pietersen currently plays for Surrey, a relatively unknown county side. The Suffolk Gazette understands he is interested in stepping up to the standard enjoyed in the Minor Counties League.
A friend of the star said: “Kevin’s ears pricked up when he heard Suffolk wanted him. This sort of opportunity does not come round very often. He loves that part of the world, too.”
His arrival, on a suggested salary of four cheese and pickle sandwiches a week and the use of a sponsored tractor, would not come soon enough for Suffolk, who as recently as this week were bowled out for just 83 runs by high-flying Cambridgeshire.
Meanwhile, the Suffolk company which invented the left-handed cricket bat, is said to be exploring sponsorship opportunities if Pietersen arrived in East Anglia.