Every club has one - the bloke who plays about twice a season, and when he does, turns up in a sports car and expects to bat number three. Hampshire got rid of theirs yesterday.
'Geographically it doesn't work,' sniffed KP. 'I live in Chelsea'.
'We haven't seen as much of KP as we'd like,' said Hampshire chief exec Rod Bransgrove, a master of understatement. Pietersen played a T20 game for Hants last week - the first time he'd turned out for them since May 2008. It was obvious something was afoot when KP arrived at the ground [in a sports car, natch] and Hampshire didn't have any kit ready for him. It wasn't as if no-one knew he was coming.
Hampshire's point is simple: Pietersen plays for England, not them. He is released so rarely, they must feel a bit like Tom Jones's wife - always waiting for him to come home. The ECB even stopped him attending a 45-minute fan Q&A before next week's one-dayer at the Rosebowl. The odd bit of glory they get from having his name on the squad list is no longer enough of a pay-off.
And KP lives in Chelsea of course, which for the uninitiated is about an hour and half's spin down the M3 from the Rosebowl. Less, probably, in a sports car. It's also legal in England for him to live closer to the ground.
Now that KP doesn't do travel, he'll be turning out [or not, actually] for either Surrey or Middlesex next year. A better solution might be for him to remain unattached. Plenty of counties would be prepared to give him a game on the rare occasions he's available, but then the thought of Surrey is pretty irresistible too: KP and Ramps in the middle order? I'd buy a ticket...
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