Pietersen bids to help flood victims

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Kevin Pietersen, third right, and his England team-mates observe a moment's silence to remember those who have died in the floods

Kevin Pietersen hopes to raise more than £10,000 for the Queensland flood victims after deciding to auction off some of the equipment he used during this winter's Ashes win.

Pietersen has donated a signed bat as well as the shirt he wore on the final day in Sydney last week, when England claimed their historic 3-1 series victory.

The 30-year-old has also included two tickets to England's one-day international in Perth on February 6, with the batsman pledging to pay for flights and five-star accommodation for the winning bidder.

Already the 10-day auction, which can be accessed via Pietersen's official website www.kevinpietersen.com, has attracted a maximum bid of £8,300.

And Pietersen is hoping that figure will rise further to help those affected by the devastating floods that have so far claimed the lives of at least 25 people.

"It's horrendous what's happening out there and I wanted to help in any small way that I could," Pietersen said.

"I feel sad about what's going up in Queensland. I really want to try and make some sort of difference and (offer) some sort of help.

"I thought of different options, ways to do it, and I came up with the signed bat, signed shirt and the one-dayer in Perth - two tickets to that.

"The bat is one that I have used on the tour so far. It is my shirt that I wore on the final day of the Ashes in Sydney. Then I'll play for flights and put the winner up in five-star accommodation.

"I'll try and get them in the same hotel that we are staying in Perth for a couple of nights. They can watch us train the previous day and I'll hand the stuff over to them.

"Whoever bids the highest money, from wherever in the world they are, I'll make sure they are at our international in a few weeks time."

He added: "I'm hoping to get double figures (in thousands) of pounds to assist with this. Hopefully the bidding will go up.

"I think it is around £8,500 pounds (at the moment). If I can get that a lot higher in the next 10 days that would be amazing."

Shaun Tait

A bucket collection during yesterday's Twenty20 international in Adelaide yielded £17,700 for the Premier Flood Relief Appeal

England's players were in Brisbane just over a month ago when they drew the first Test at the Gabba, and they are due to return to the Queensland capital for the fifth one-day international on January 30.

"That's what makes it real. I was there a month ago," he added. "We had a really good time, but the pictures from the overhead photography... it is just tragic.

"It's not good to see so if you've got a profile this is an ideal opportunity. If it is real for you, and it hits you and hurts you, then you should try and do something about it."

Meanwhile, Australia’s Shane Watson today pledged to return to his home town of Ipswich in Queensland to help those affected by the flooding.

"I'll be doing everything I can to get back there as soon as I can to help out because my heart is there, my family is there,” said the 29-year-old.

"I love playing and I have a lot of fun doing it, but in the end what we do is inconsequential compared to the heartache and the devastation that is going through my home town at the moment."

Watson was born and raised in Ipswich, which is 30 kilometres west of Brisbane, and his parents and sister still live in the town.

The all-rounder revealed he was investigating ways in which he can raise funds.

"I'm still trying to think about exactly what I can do," he said. "It is hard to try and think about what impact I can have.

"In the end I'm going to be joining with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association to do everything I possibly can to make sure that, for me personally, Ipswich is looked after. It is my home town.

"I'll be getting in contact with the mayor once things subside a little bit and see what I can do."

Australia and England's players donated part of their match fees from yesterday's Twenty20 international in Adelaide to the Premier Flood Relief Appeal, while a bucket collection at the ground yielded £17,700.

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