Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen hopeful of England returnGetty

Kevin Pietersen has been released from his Indian Premier League contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad as he seeks to do "everything in his power" to return to the England set-up.

The franchise has agreed to release the former England captain for the league phase of the competition but retain the option of recalling him for the knockout phases that begin on 19 May and conclude on 24 May.

Pietersen is now expected to join county side Surrey to strengthen his bid to regain a place in the England squad in time for this summer's Ashes.

He said via a statement on his website: "I'm hugely grateful for all the support and understanding I've received from everyone at the Sunrisers and the IPL. My focus is now very much on the upcoming season in England and I'm absolutely determined to score as many runs as possible.

"I've never made any secret of my overwhelming desire to once again represent England and I'm going to do everything in my power to earn a recall to the international set-up. To once again put on that England shirt would be a privilege and an honour, but now I have to focus on performing domestically and give myself the best possible chance of meriting selection."

Pietersen, 34, was dismissed by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February 2014 after a humiliating Ashes whitewash Down Under.