Northants coach Ripley’s relief that Pietersen is missing for Surrey

INJURED - Kevin Pietersen will be missing from the Surrey team which plays Northants this week
INJURED - Kevin Pietersen will be missing from the Surrey team which plays Northants this week

Head coach David Ripley admits he is glad Northants won’t have to face Kevin Pietersen in this week’s clash at the County Ground.

Pietersen will not be part of the Surrey squad for the Championship encounter, which begins on Monday.

Northants head coach David Ripley

Northants head coach David Ripley

The big-hitting batsman smashed 355 not out for his county in the recent game against Leicestershire, but then saw his hopes of an England recall dashed.

He was told he would not be considered for international selection and was due to fly out to India to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But calf and Achilles injuries have prevented the 34-year-old fulfilling that aim and he will not play against Northants this week either.

“It’s nice actually because there’s a lot of interest in him and he’s very determined,” said Ripley when asked whether he was happy that Pietersen would not be available.

“He’s obviously desperate to play for England and he’s put in a good shift to try to make the team.

“He’s scored his runs and poor, old Leicester felt that last week.

“Although it’s quite nice to play against some of the best players and test yourself, on this particular occasion we’re glad he’s not because they’ve still got (Kumar) Sangakkara sitting there, who is a pretty special player as well.”

Northants lost their T20 opener at Durham on Friday night, but have yet to be beaten in the Championship this season.

And Ripley said: “This is the part of the season when the schedule does get tough.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves off and get up to play the next Championship match.

“We have had the weekend off and the lads will recoup.

“We’ll get in on Monday morning ready to play Surrey.”