Luke Wright has exclusively told GiveMeSport he cannot wait to play alongside Kevin Pietersen once again after the former England star signed a two-year contract with Australian Big Bash side the Melbourne Stars.
The Sussex opener has been with the MCG based side since the inaugural Big Bash League in 2011/12 and will be joined by England’s all-time leading run scorer in this winters competition.
The Stars announced the deal to sign Pietersen on Monday in a series of photographs they published on social media as one of the biggest names in world cricket joins the premier t20 competition in Australasia.
That means t20 specialist Wright will be joined by the man who won the player of the tournament in the World Twenty20 in 2010 when England lifted the trophy by defeating Australia in the final, a game in which the pair both played.
The incrementally contracted England player tweeted KP after finding out the news which read: “@KP24 welcome to the @StarsBBL. Great bunch of bloke and hell of a side. Not the worst place to be either!! #BBL04”while the Surrey man replied “should be fun, buddy! Catch you soon…”
Wright finished last season’s Big Bash as the second highest run scorer as his Melbourne side reached the semi-final before losing to Hobart and he has exclusively told GiveMeSport he thinks KP will be a crucial signing.
“It’s a huge signing which will help because we lost Brad Hodge and everybody knows how good he is, he is up in the top few t20 run scorers in the world so he will be such a big loss.
“Lasith Malinga wasn’t going to be available for many games if any so to sign somebody of KP’s calibre is huge and I think the fast bouncy wickets will suit him out there. Having a line-up with him, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron White and you go through the team it is brilliant," claimed Wright.
“It was an exciting team to be part of last year so when you add Kevin it makes it even more exciting.”
Since Pietersen was notified by the England and Wales Cricket Board he would no longer be playing for his country he has become a t20 specialist after signing deals to play for Delhi Daredevils, Surrey, St Lucia Zouks and now the Stars.
The 34-year-old will join up with his new club at the beginning of December ahead of an eight game season with the potential of a semi and then final after the group stage and Wright believes he can give his side an extra boost.
“He brings a huge amount of knowledge and experience and the stats speak for themselves in all forms but especially twenty20 as well. He has been there and done it which included being the player of the tournament when we won the World Cup.
“He will be great and it will help him the fact the fixtures are all in one big block, even for our guys who are playing once a week at the minute it has been tough if you’re not playing regularly. Some of our guys that have done a similar thing to KP have found it a challenge because with the tournament spread over such a long time it is a challenge.
“In Australia we play a lot of games packed together so you are training and playing all the time so I think he’ll do really well.”
Wright finished the English domestic NatWest T20 Blast group stage as the leading run scorer with 601 which included scoring a phenomenal 153 not out against Essex last week. 31 of those runs were actually against Pietersen’s Surrey in a game where KP didn’t get chance to bat after his side beat Sussex by 10 wickets.
However, in just a few months they will share the same dressing room once again but as Wright explains it will be the first time in a while they will have done so.
“I have played with him a fair bit but over recent times he has been rested from one-day cricket and especially twenty20 cricket where he had a break for a long time. I have played a fair amount but that was more towards the start of my career than the back end.”
The Big Bash starts on December 18 and you can keep up to date with the progress of Pietersen and Wright on GiveMeSport.