• Big Bash League

Pietersen targeted by Aussie T20 league

ESPN staff
September 20, 2012

Kevin Pietersen's England exile has made him a target for the Australian Big Bash League, with both Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Sixers interested in luring him Down Under, according to Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry.

Coventry, in Sri Lanka to scout potential players at the ICC World Twenty20, admitted that there would likely be "curve balls" in any deal involving the exiled England batsman, but was unconcerned about reports of the breakdown of his relationship with the ECB.

"I'd like to, but I think I would want to get an indication first about his availability before talking further," he told the Melbourne Age.

"I'm going over there to hopefully catch up with a number of different players who could be a potential marquee player for us, a number three or number four bat. That's my goal and if he forms part of that then he will be one of that group of players."

Pietersen is in Sri Lanka working as a pundit for ESPN Star having been omitted from the squad as the fallout from the derogatory text messages sent to South African team about his former captain Andrew Strauss continues.

As well as leaving the South Africa-born batsman out of the squad for the defence of their T20 crown, the ECB dropped Pietersen for the upcoming tour of India this winter, potentially making him available to head to the Australian T290 league.

"We have three places left on our list and one of them is for an international," said Coventry, who already has spin bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan tied to the squad.

"If we can grab someone who stands up at the World Twenty20 that is our first priority but now that Kevin Pietersen is back in the mix, there's no doubt we and the Sixers have been having some dialogue with his management.

"If he is available we'd love to grab him but there's a lot of curve balls in play at the moment, about his availability, whether he wants to come to Australia, whether he wants to come to Melbourne or Sydney."

Coventry harbours no concerns about the breakdown of Pietersen's relationship with his England team-mates.

"From a playing point of view, I think he is one of the best T20 players in the world and we've got a culture in our group that will create the right environment for him to play his best cricket," Coventry said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.