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Pietersen seeks KwaZulu-Natal move

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen hopes to recapture some form ahead of the Ashes this winter by playing for KwaZulu-Natal in October

The ECB confirmed that England batsman Kevin Pietersen has requested permission to join South African provincial team KwaZulu-Natal Inland for two matches in October as preparation ahead of the Ashes.

Pietersen, who is currently on loan with Surrey, is seeking clearance from Cricket South Africa to join Natal for two four-day matches against North West (October 7-10) and Eastern Province (October 14-17).

Pietersen said: "I'm extremely keen to get as much cricket as possible under my belt before a challenging and exciting winter.

"My sole focus is to continue playing a leading role for England and joining Natal is the perfect opportunity to prepare in excellent conditions immediately before the Ashes.

"These two matches would enable me to work on my game against the Kookaburra ball in Southern hemisphere conditions which is the ideal preparation for Australia."

England team director Andy Flower said: "We're very pleased Kevin is seeking to get some more high-quality cricket in at a crucial period before the Ashes.

"We are well aware of Kevin's attention to detail and thoroughness when it comes to preparation and he would gain a great deal from working on his batting against tough opposition in South Africa.

"Kevin's commitment and desire to work on his batting and play a significant part in a successful England team is unquestioned and this proposed arrangement with Natal, initiated by Kevin himself, further underlines that."