Australian eyes on Pietersen
Controversial England batsman wanted by Big Bash sides
Last Updated: 20/09/12 8:51am
Kevin Pietersen: Wanted by clubs in Australia's T20 Big Bash League
It has emerged that Kevin Pietersen is a target for clubs in Australia's Big Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades leading the chase for his signature.
Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry has confirmed he is hoping to set up a meeting with Pietersen at the ICC World Twenty20 to assess his availability for the Australian T20 league in light of the batsman's continued absence from the England squad.
Pietersen is working at the tournament as an analyst for ESPN Star Sports, and Coventry, who is heading to Sri Lanka to scout players at the tournament, says both his side and the Sydney Sixers are keen to talk to the 32-year-old.
"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."
"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."
Melbourne Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry Quotes of the week
Should he join the Renegades, Pietersen would team up with Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan in their two-man overseas quota for the league, which begins in December.
"We have three places left on our list and one of them is for an international," Coventry said.
"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."
The 'curve ball' which has kept Pietersen out of the England reckoning is his fraught relationship with colleagues in the dressing room, brought to a head when he was accused of sharing "derogatory" opinions with South Africa players via text message during the recent Test series.
But Coventry admits he is not overly concerned by that issue.
"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," he added.