Australia Test skipper Michael Clarke says he expects Kevin Pietersen to receive a call-up by England for the 2015 Ashes series.
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The pair will be teammates in the 2015/16 Big Bash League after Clarke was on Friday announced as the Melbourne Stars’ new captain.
Pietersen was sacked following England’s humiliating 5-0 Ashes loss during the 2013/14 Australian summer, but incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves has left the door open for a comeback.
The 34-year-old was granted an early release from his IPL deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad to play County cricket with Surrey as he attempts to earn a Test recall.
Although Clarke believes Pietersen could play in the Ashes, the Australia skipper said he preferred not to face the star batsman.
“Yeah, I do think he could be at the Ashes,” Clarke is quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.
“He’s scoring enough runs, he’s made it very clear he wants to play and now it will come down to England selectors and the England board making their decision.
“At the moment from the Australians’ perspective I’m happy he’s not playing because he’s a wonderful player.”
Clarke will join Pietersen at the Stars for the upcoming BBL season after signing a two-season deal with the club.
The 33-year-old has not played Twenty20 cricket in three years, but said he was hopeful of making a major impact with the Victorian side.