Surrey fans watching NatWest T20 Blast matches at the Kia Oval this summer will be among the last people to enjoy seeing Kevin Pietersen playing on English soil, after the batsman announced this summer's campaign will be his last in his adopted country.
The 36-year-old, who is now a T20 specialist, said he is set to be heavily involved with a residential conservation project in his native South Africa that will prevent him being back next summer.
He explained: "I'm building a house in the Kruger National Park so all of next summer I will be at my house in South Africa - so I won't be playing in England."
Pietersen insisted that he is as fit as he ever has been and will not be retiring altogether, which suggests that this summer could see plenty of fireworks from one of the superstars of the sport in recent years. He will be available from July 19th.
The 104-Test veteran will carry on playing T20 cricket elsewhere, as he is contracted to Australian Big Bash League outfit the Melbourne Stars and will feature in a new T20 league in South Africa as one of eight 'overseas' stars.
Surrey fans with a sense of nostalgia for the last decade or two can now make the most of two valedictory seasons in English cricket by superstar batsmen in the same year, with Kumar Sangakkara recently confirming he will end his first-class career in September. This will come as a great relief to bowlers, as the Sri Lankan veteran has been in superb form and made centuries in five successive innings last month.
For such an outstanding batsman, Sangakkara took a long time to master playing in English conditions. It was not until his third tour with Sri Lanka that he scored a Test hundred in the UK, marking the first ever Test match at Southampton's Ageas Bowl in 2011 by becoming the first visiting batsman to reach three figures there.