Stewart hopes Ford-Pietersen relationship spurs on Surrey
Surrey supremo Alec Stewart hopes Kevin Pietersen's close relationship with Graham Ford can boost their promotion hopes.
Last Updated: 24/03/14 12:12pm
Ford has been a coach and mentor to Pietersen since he was a kid in South Africa and the pair are set to work closely together at the Division Two side after Pietersen was sacked by England.
Stewart, who appointed Ford last month, expects Pietersen to join up with Surrey's pre-season camp this week and is optimistic the 34-year-old will feature for his county in more than just this year's Twenty20 competition.
Stewart said: "The fact that now we can have Kevin here for longer, now that he is no longer available for England, means the two of them will rekindle their relationship.
"Graham has coached Kevin since he was eight or nine years old. He has huge respect for him and he still goes back to him now when he needs his game ironing out or just to reconfirm how he's playing - and that will not change when Kevin is back with Surrey.
"We expect to see Kevin here at some stage this week. He has his IPL commitments but he will be wearing a Surrey shirt in every t20 after that is over.
"His contract also allows him to play four-day cricket and in the 50-over competition too, but how much of that he will play in will be up for discussion as the season goes on."
Stewart also says he is looking forward to former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who retired from international cricket this year, having a greater impact for Surrey this season.
Smith's stay last year was cut short through injury and Stewart said: "Graeme will be available to us all summer which is great because he's a fine player, a fine captain and a fine leader.
"Just in those three weeks last year, the impact he had on our dressing room was outstanding and I'm sure he'll take the team forward alongside Graham Ford."