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Gough: Pietersen to play two warm-up matches before the Ashes

Ex-England bowler Darren Gough expects Kevin Pietersen to play two first-class matches and a T20 before the Ashes starts

Harry Kemble
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Kevin Pietersen has made 92 Test appearances for EnglandPhoto: The Sport Review

Kevin Pietersen will play just two first-class matches and a T20 before the Ashes starts on 10 July, according to England legend and the batsman’s good friend Darren Gough.

The 32-year-old star has not played any cricket since early on England’s tour of New Zealand, when he injured his knee during a warm-up match and returned home to have scans on the problem.

Surrey had been hoping that he would be available for their County Championship match against Sussex this week, but Gough – having spoken to Pietersen – says the fixture against his old county Yorkshire on 21 June is a more likely return date.

“I have had a good chat with him. Hopefully, he is going to start playing in a couple of week’s time for the start of the Ashes,” Gough told The Sport Review.

“It has been a frustrating time for him. In another couple of weeks he will be back – he’ll play two four-day games and then a T20 game – and then he’ll be in for the Test.”

Pietersen is scheduled to play against Essex for England in a pre-Ashes practice match designed to give Alastair Cook’s side a full run-out ahead of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Gough was speaking after England’s 48-run against Australia in the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston.

In the match, Jimmy Anderson surpassed the 42-year-old ex-fast bowler’s one-day international 234-wicket record, having drawn level in the recent Natwest series against New Zealand.

However, Gough is proud the Burnley bowler has overtaken him in the standings.

“You have to accept it,” added Gough, who played in a charity match alongside Pietersen. The Surrey hitter was performing a non-playng role at the event.

“I didn’t play the number of games they are playing now.

“Jimmy is a fantastic bowler, it was always going to happen at some stage. Not far down the road Stuart Broad will pass it, there are plenty more or will pass it.

“I am just glad it is Jimmy, he is a wonderful lad and bowler. I hope he goes on and gets a big, big total – so people struggle to beat him.”

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