Kevin Pietersen agrees T20 contract to join Melbourne Stars

Kevin Pietersen has signed a two-year deal to play for Melbourne Stars in Australia's T20 Big Bash competition.

The former England batsman, 34, replaces Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga, who is unavailable because of preparations for the World Cup.

The Big Bash takes place from 18 December 2014 to 28 January 2015 while the World Cup starts on 15 March, 2015.

Melbourne Stars captain Cameron White said of Pietersen: "He's a tremendous addition and will fit in really well."

Since England made the decision not to select him again following last winter's 5-0 Ashes whitewash, Pietersen has primarily played as a T20 specialist.

He captained the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League earlier this year, helped Surrey reach the T20 Blast quarter-finals and is set to feature for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League, which has already started.

Pietersen said: "Joining the Melbourne Stars was an easy choice for me when you look at the players we have and the amazing off-field support staff, and don't forget our home ground, the MCG."

He scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47 in 104 Tests, in addition to 4,440 runs in 136 one-day internationals and 1,176 runs in 37 Twenty20s.

Pietersen, who has since said he would "love to play for England again", is the Stars' biggest signing since the retirement of Shane Warne  last year.

He will play alongside Australian internationals White, David Hussey and former England team-mate Luke Wright.