Surrey’s director of cricket Alec Stewart has insisted the Kia Oval club have not broken the bank to secure the services of star man Kevin Pietersen.
The 33-year-old agreed a deal to play 20-over cricket for the county this week – days before landing an £880,000 contract to play in the six-week Indian Premier League tournament for the Delhi Daredevils.
Pietersen, who has played for Surrey since 2010, saw his central contract with the ECB terminated last week after the England hierarchy called time on his international career.
It meant the South African-born Test star became a free agent, sparking
a rush to secure his services both in this country and abroad.
Former England and Malden Wanderers wicketkeeper-batsman Stewart, who revealed the deal was well within the £1.9m county cricket salary cap, revealed market forces had meant the club had to move quickly to get their man.
But he insisted Pietersen’s desire to wear Surrey colours in 2014 – and not the colour of their money – was the deciding factor.
“Everything fits within the salary cap. I don’t want anyone thinking we have spent millions on one player,” he said.
“There is a budget I have to stick to and we have done that. He is playing for Surrey for the right reasons.
“There was a great deal of interest in Kevin from around the world, but he has made it very clear he wanted to play here.
“We really look forward to watching him in the middle and scoring a bucket load of runs for Surrey.”
Pietersen, who turned down the chance to play in the Caribbean Premier League, has been signed to appear in the revamped T20 Blast competition.
But Stewart did not rule out England’s all-time leading run scorer appearing in other formats of the game.
“It is primarily a Twenty20 agreement, but that is not to say we won’t see him in the four-day or 50-over games,” he added.
“It is great for the domestic game as a whole and it will give a lift to our four-day and 50-over cricket if he is involved in that too.”
Pietersen added: “I’ve had some of my best moments in cricket at the Kia Oval.
“I’m really excited at the prospect of getting back out there playing in what will, hopefully, be a brilliant summer for us all.”