Spartan Kevin Pietersen has overcome a groin injury and will play in tonight’s blockbuster BBL Melbourne derby.
The former England international will be back in action for the Melbourne Stars as they take on their crosstown rivals the Renegades.
The Stars have just the one win from their first three matches and will be desperate to avenge their 7-run loss to the Renegades on New Year’s Day.
“I am really looking forward to this match,” Pietersen told Spartan Sports.
“Derby day is massive in Melbourne and it’s an honour and a privilege to still be involved in such incredible sporting events.”
Pietersen was a standout with the bat in the Stars’ last ball defeat at the hands of the Thunder in Sydney on Wednesday night.
Using his Spartan bat which features specially designed stickers to help raise awareness in the fight against Rhino poaching, Pietersen belted a rapid fire 60 off just 37 deliveries. It included two towering sixes.
One of the more intriguing match-ups tonight shapes as the battle of the two Spartans, Pietersen and Renegades spin-king Brad Hogg.
The veteran showman, in his first season with the Renegades, took a match-winning 3-22 in their rain-affected contest a week ago.
“I am so excited about the return derby against the stars. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Hogg said in an exclusive interview with Spartan Sports.
“You always want to play against the best with a packed stadium against a quality team.”
“Our skills will definitely be tested against the Stars but that’s why we play the game.”
Pietersen and Hogg have been among a host of star performances from Spartans over the past week in the BBL.
Joe Burns also excelled in Brisbane’s only defeat of the tournament so far, top-scoring with an unbeaten 51 against the Sydney Sixers.
His Brisbane heat teammates Mark Steketee and Mitchell Swepson led the way with the ball in their win over Perth Scorchers.
Steketee completed a tough caught and bowled attempt to remove the dangerous Mitchell Marsh in his 1-31, while Swepson took 2-27 and put the brakes on the Scorchers top order. He removed Shaun Marsh and Ian Bell in an impressive four over spell.