Unavailability of Pietersen brightens Samuels chances for Oz BBL
The unavailability of Kevin Pietersen has brightened the chances of star of the World T20 final, Marlon Samuels to play in the Big Bash League Down Under.
The Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Renegades, the only two BBL teams with places remaining on their roster for international players, had both outlined their interest in Pietersen as a marquee signing.
The England batsman's availability was driven by the text messages fiasco that left him in international exile, but since his reconciliation this month with the England and Wales Cricket Board and agreement to a new short-term contract, the Australian franchises have become far less confident of luring him, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
England is due to tour in India in a fortnight that runs until a week before Christmas, and they have five one-day matches then running through January.
The Test series coincides with the first stage of the BBL, which starts on December 7, and the one-day campaign clashes with the latter part of the competition in January, the paper said.
The Renegades are close to agreeing to terms with Samuels, the man of the match in the World T20 final in Colombo this week, it added.
The 31-year-old hit 78 runs from 56 balls to set up the West Indies' victory over hosts Sri Lanka.