Glenn Maxwell and Kevin Pietersen developed a close bond at the Stars. Picture: Ian Currie
Glenn Maxwell and Kevin Pietersen developed a close bond at the Stars. Picture: Ian Currie

‘Glenn Maxwell can win you the World Cup’

KEVIN Pietersen says if Australia want to defend their crown at next year's World Cup, they must immediately guarantee Glenn Maxwell his place.

The former England star turned wildlife crusader was in Sydney on Thursday launching his worldwide brand, SORAI, which is on a mission to save rhinos in Africa and India.

Pietersen is one of the most controversial and polarising cricketers of his generation and has been keeping a close eye on Melbourne Stars teammate Maxwell, who has spent a summer on the outer.

Glenn Maxwell and Kevin Pietersen developed a close bond at the Stars. Picture: Ian Currie
Glenn Maxwell and Kevin Pietersen developed a close bond at the Stars. Picture: Ian Currie

On Wednesday night Maxwell made an emphatic statement with a stunning unbeaten Twenty20 hundred against the England side that destroyed Australia in the recent one-day series, which he wasn't picked for.

Bringing up the ton with a towering six off the last ball of the match will go down as one of the most signature moments of Maxwell's career and a timely reminder of what he's capable of.

Maxwell has conceded recently that he is unsure where he stands in the minds of selectors and key people in Australian cricket when it comes to the one-day and Test formats.

Pietersen said that this destabilising conjecture must stop now and called on Australia to back in The Big Show.

"I'd sit him down after that knock and I'd tell Glenn Maxwell, 'you will play in every single white ball game of cricket we're going to play over the next 18 months,'" said Pietersen.

"And I'd say, 'I want you to keep winning games of cricket for Australia'.

Glenn Maxwell his incredible T20 ton in Hobart.
Glenn Maxwell his incredible T20 ton in Hobart.

"Because at the moment, Glenn Maxwell plays under a cloud thinking he might not play the next game and that is no way to play international cricket.

"You need to have the backing of your coach, the backing of your captain.

"You've got a World Cup next year. That bloke can win you a World Cup."

Pietersen is passionate about saving rhinos and preserving Africa's 'big 5' and launched SORAI.com.au.

The former batting great owns 20 per cent of the company which accepts donations and all of his royalties will also go to the rhinos.

 

Maxwell showed want Australia has been missing.
Maxwell showed want Australia has been missing.

 

"The message is clear and simple. I'm trying to save rhinos and stop the illegal poaching of the beautiful animals who grace our planet, in particular the ones in Africa and India," he said.

Australia is due to tour Pietersen's country of birth South Africa next month for a heavy-duty Test series against the Proteas.

Pietersen said Australia ought to beware of South Africa's two wounded stars Dale Steyn and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

South Africa' have been embarrassed in their last couple of one day games against India (despite winning the Test series), but Pietersen said Australia should be wary of the wounded bull.

Steyn is fighting to come back from a foot injury, and Pietersen said Australia will be secretly hoping the fast bowling great can't play.

"World class performer and Australia don't want to play against him," he said.

"That says enough.

"They will not want to play. They'll be very happy to play South Africa without Dale Steyn.

"He's a fighter and this is a big series for Dale Steyn. Series against Australia are ones he gets himself up for and he's quite brilliant."



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