Kevin Pietersen has said he is “buzzing” to be part of the new Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 competition.
The former England great heads an all-star cast including Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Shakib Al Hasan in next February’s event.
Five franchises from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta will take part, with the United Arab Emirates the likely venue for the 24 matches. Qatar is also said to be in the running as another possible host.
Pietersen’s addition is a real coup for PSL organisers, who have yet in cash in on the T20 revolution following the suspension of international cricket in recent years over security issues.
Speaking via video message at the tournament’s launch ceremony in Lahore last Sunday (20), the big-hitting batsman said: “Absolutely buzzing to be a part of the Pakistani mela (event) coming up in February. I can’t wait to get it started.
“It looks like it is going to be a wonderful competition. Lots of fun, lots of sixes, lots of wickets, typical T20 stuff. I am really excited to be a part of this wonderful tournament. I will see you soon, guys.”
Other big names signed up are Pietersen’s compatriots Chris Jordan, Ravi Bopara, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan and Jade Dernbach; and West Indies quintet Jason Holder, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin.
New Zealand trio Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliott, James Franklin are also in, as are Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, Australian Brad Hodge and Johan Botha of South Africa.
The players will join the Pakistan home participants is the PSL auction, which will be held at a later date ahead of the February 4-24 showpiece.
PSL governing council Najam Sethi said: “We want everyone to know we are here and here with a purpose. We will not settle for anything less than making the PSL one of the leading products to ever come out of Pakistan.”
Ramiz Raja, one of PSL’s backers, added: “I have experienced cricket and entertainment going together in various parts of the world but to be associated with a Pakistani product is a different experience. Pakistanis will proudly own the PSL.”