GILES WHITE has revealed Hampshire discussed the possibility of bringing Kevin Pietersen back to the club.
The 34-year-old batsman was released from his Indian Premier League contract and re-signed for Surrey earlier this week as he pursues his ambitions to return to the England set-up.
We’re a club that would certainly look at it and we discussed it internallyGiles White
After leaving Nottinghamshire in 2004, Pietersen played just two t20 games, seven Championship matches and 17 one-dayers in six summers on Hampshire’s books before departing in 2010.
But while he is keen to make himself available for the county season to force his way back into the national selectors’ plans, Hampshire eventually decided against making an approach.
White, Hampshire’s director of cricket, said: ‘There is an obvious link with Hampshire, having played here before.
‘We’re a club that would certainly look at it and we discussed it internally.
‘But really we had set ourselves up for the season with a squad of batsmen and some good youngsters we wanted to keep going with.
‘I don’t think it was the right fit for us.
‘We also knew if Surrey came in for him, they would have always been his preference because of his recent association with them and where he lives.’
Hampshire are putting the finishing touches to their pre-season preparations as they play a two-day home clash against Surrey, which starts today at the Ageas Bowl.
After a successful trip to Barbados, the players will get a chance to push their selection claims ahead of the Championship division one curtain-raiser on April 12 against Sussex.
‘The Barbados trip went very well in terms of what we wanted to get out of it,’ said White.
‘The boys got some overs in, we didn’t pick up any injuries – touch wood – and the batters got some time at the crease.
‘The weather was good and the boys got outside to play. It was ideal preparation and they have excellent facilities to get the right type of work in. In those games, we were quite broad with our selection and wanted to give everyone a go.
‘But as the first game approaches, you narrow that down and you want to play the side that will be close to the one that gets out there on the first day of the Championship season.
‘There are a couple of selections that might alter and we have a couple more friendlies after this one to have a look at a few things but it is taking shape.
‘Now it’s a good opportunity to get some more overs in and play in English early-season conditions.’
New bowlers Andre Adams and Jackson Bird are not yet available but are due to arrive at the club next week.
James Vince also looks set to be rested after taking a blow to the head in net practice.
White added: ‘Vincey is fine but we might give him a breather for this one.’
Michael Carberry is back in the country after playing in the MCC clash against champions Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi, while new recruit Gareth Berg will also feature.
HAMPSHIRE: (from) Adams, Carberry Smith, Vince, Dawson, Wheater, Ervine, Berg, Wood, Briggs, Tomlinson, Barber, Alsop, Wheal