KP joins Melbourne franchise

Australia

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has signed a two-year contract with the Melbourne Stars franchise, ahead of this year's Big Bash League – Australia's premier domestic Twenty20 tournament.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has signed a two-year contract with the Melbourne Stars franchise, ahead of this year's Big Bash League – Australia's premier domestic Twenty20 tournament.

Pietersen was ostensibly exiled by the England and Wales Cricket Board earlier this year. He is currently playing for Surrey in the T20 Blast competition – and captain the Delhi Daredevils in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League recently.

"I'm very excited about joining the Melbourne Stars and look forward to playing with some of Australia's best T20 cricketers. 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," said Pietersen.

The Stars reached the semi-finals stage of the previous BBL – and also sport the services of hard-hitting England all-rounder Luke Wright, who recently struck a record-breaking 153 not out in Sussex's key T20 fixture against Essex in Chelmsford.

Stars head coach Greg Shipperd added: "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."

The Big Bash League will run from 18 December 2014 to 28 January 2015. The Stars' opening match will be against the Adelaide Strikers. The Hobart Hurricanes, meanwhile, have signed West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy.

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