Cricket Buzz: Pietersen to play for Melbourne Stars in Big Bash League
Axed England batsman Kevin Pietersen joined the Melbourne Stars on Monday to be the highest-profile signing of the new season of Australia's Big Bash League.
Pietersen, who was sacked by England in February following the 5-0 Ashes drubbing in the winter tour to Australia, has signed a two-year deal with the Cameron White-led team of the Twenty20 league, the Stars said on their website (www.melbournestars.com.au).
"Joining the Melbourne Stars was an easy choice for me when you look at the players we have and the amazing off field support staff, and don't forget our home ground, the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground)," Pietersen said.
A prolific and entertaining batsman known for his trademark switch-hit stroke, 34-year-old Pietersen is scheduled to make his Stars debut on Dec. 20 against Hobart Hurricanes at the MCG.
Pietersen, available full-time for Twenty20 competitions after being freed from national duty, led the Delhi Daredevils in this year's Indian Premier League and will play for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League.
"We're really looking forward to Kevin being part of our club," White said, welcoming the South Africa-born player.
"He's a tremendous addition to the squad and will fit in really well, and he'll hopefully provide us the edge to go deeper into the tournament this year," White added.
The Stars won all eight of their group games last season but exited the tournament at the semi-final stage for the third year in a row.
Image: Kevin Pietersen poses with the Melbourne Stars jersey on Monday