Former England star Kevin Pietersen will be returning to Australia this winter after signing a deal to play for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League.
The 34-year-old has been rumoured with the club who play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for some time after it was clear he wouldn’t be playing for England again.
When he lines up in the green of the Stars it will be the fourth club side he will have represented in 2014. After leading the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League he joined Surrey where he has helped them reach the quarter finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.
He is soon to jet off to the Caribbean where he will have a short stint with St Lucia Zouks before returning to England for a potential finals day with his main county.
After a few months away from the on field limelight then the destructive top order batsman will meet up with the Melbourne Stars at the beginning of December for the eight game season which runs until January 21st.
Pietersen is still England’s leading run scorer for England after playing 104 Tests, 136 ODIs and 37 T20 internationals and is set to join his former England team mate Luke Wright who was nominated for the player of the tournament in the third edition of the annual event.
KP has spoken to melbournestars.com.au after it was announced he would be calling the MCG 'home'.
“I’m very excited about joining the Melbourne Stars and look forward to playing with some of Australia’s best T20 cricketers,” Pietersen said.
“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.
“I’m told the Melbourne Stars Members are the best in the country and I can’t wait to become a part of the Stars family.”
The right-handed batsman has already been up to some mischief on his instagram account @KP24 after signing for Melbourne which shows a picture of Pietersen blowing a kiss at the Gabba crowd with the Brisbane public gesturing their displeasure to the man who called their city boring.
Cameron White will once again captain the Stars in BBL|04 and he is delighted to have one of the most recognisable faces in world cricket on his side.
“We’re really looking forward to Kevin being part of our Club. 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,” said White.
The Stars will have a difficult decision to make with White and Wright opening the batting in last season’s competition, Pietersen may have to bat at number three, a position he currently holds in the Surrey line-up. That will be a decision to be made by head coach Greg Shipperd who has commented: “We are delighted to have Kevin as a Melbourne Star.
“He’s a proven competitor and I am confident that he will revel in the fiercely competitive atmosphere of the BBL and will be especially at home at the MCG in front of our loyal Members.”