Darren Lehmann tears into Kevin Pietersen after disappointing BBL performance

The Australia coach's comments come days after Pietersen's attack on the country's governing body

Evan Bartlett
Tuesday 24 January 2017 12:42
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Pietersen was out for five as his Stars side were thrashed by seven wickets
Pietersen was out for five as his Stars side were thrashed by seven wickets

Minutes after seeing his side lose in the semi-final of the Big Bash, Kevin Pietersen was facing calls to be sacked - from Australia coach Darren Lehmann.

Rarely one to mince his words, Lehmann tweeted after Perth Scorchers' victory over the Melbourne Stars: "Time for Stars to move KP on, spent to (sic) much money on him and didn't win. Don't want to listen to excuses anymore."

His comments follow Pietersen's attack on national governing body Cricket Australia (CA) last week as several players were made unavailable for the Stars after being called up for international duty by Lehmann.

The batsman said it was "bitterly disappointing" that his teammates would be "sitting in a hotel room" instead of playing in the country's premier T20 tournament despite Australia not playing Pakistan until the next day. Pietersen believes CA should stop scheduling ODI games during the Big Bash so the country's best players can take part.

Pietersen, who has been frozen out of international cricket after falling out with the England hierarchy, signed a two-year extension to his Stars contract in 2016 in a deal said to be worth AUD$250,000 (£150,000) per season.

He also received a $100,000 bonus from CA to promote the BBL, making him the league's highest paid player.

The South African-born batsman played eight games this season as the Stars lost out in the semi-finals for a fifth time in six years.

While he scored a disappointing 5 in their loss to the Scorchers on Tuesday night, some have been left questioning Lehmann's motives for the attack, given Pietersen's strong performance in the competition as a whole.

Pietersen was the sixth highest runscorer in the BBL and was behind only Brendon McCullum in terms of overseas batsmen.

It's not the first time the pair have clashed. They had a brief spat after the 2013 Ashes when Lehmann accused England of playing "dour" cricket during the series, prompting Pietersen to remind the Australian coach of the 3-0 scoreline.

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