Former England batsman and captain Kevin Pietersen has made a blistering return to the cricket spotlight, scoring 66 runs from 46 balls during the first match of the Australian Twenty20 Big Bash season.
The 34-year-old dominated at the crease, hitting four sixes and two fours for the Melbourne Stars.
Pietersen, on debut, had the crowd on edge and boundary officials ducking for cover on numerous occassions in a dazzling and exemplary display of short-game cricket.
“Someone told me the England selectors were meeting this morning… I hope they’ve got a screen on,” Pietersen said while speaking into his player mic during play.
Pietersen captained the English Test and One Day International (ODI) teams from 4 August 2008 to 7 January 2009 and became the fastest batsman to reach both 1,000 and 2,000 runs in ODIs. In February this year, he was told he would no longer be selected to play for England.
Another English import, Sussex’s Luke Wright, made 45 runs off 37 balls, while South Australian wicket-keeper Tim Ludeman hit the fastest Big Bash 50 off just 18 balls.
The Adelaide Strikers ended up running home to an eight-wicket win inside 13 overs in front of a record crowd of 27,452 at the Adelaide Oval.
“It was great to have a win first up, great to get the ball rolling,” Ludeman said.
Watch Pietersen smash fours and sixes all over the park, including point-of-view head-cam footage.