Australian coach Darren Lehmann was extremely upset about England discard Kevin Pietersen's poor showing in the Twenty20 Big Bash League for the Melbourne Stars and demanded his ouster. The former England batsman was out for five in a crucial match against Perth Scorchers and had departed the field during the opponents' innings with a hamstring injury. Perth Scorchers won by seven wickets to enter the finals. "Time for Stars to move KP on, spent too much money on him and didn't win. Don't want to listen to his excuses anymore," Lehmann tweeted after the match.
Pietersen, 36, did not respond to Lehmann's remarks, instead tweeted that he was "Gutted with this eve! Sorry @StarsBBL fans!"
In reply, Melbourne Stars' president Eddie McGuire hit back at Lehmann on radio and said: "KP is not the highest paid player at the Stars for a start, he has delivered in spades.
"The last three Big Bash leagues, KP is second only to (Brisbane Heat's) Chris Lynn for runs scored. He has bought in that many people," he said on commercial radio station Triple M.
"The last two years which team has had the biggest crowds in the history of the Twenty20 Big Bash? He is a crowd favourite," he added.
Pietersen, who scored 268 runs in the eight matches with an average of 38.29, had last week criticised Cricket Australia for not releasing team-mate Marcus Stoinis for last Saturday's clash against the Sydney Sixers.
"I just find it bitterly disappointing that a guy can't play in a fixture tomorrow, which is a big fixture for us. He will be sitting in a hotel room," the Sydney Morning Herald reported him as saying.
"Stoinis might not play (the One-day International against Pakistan) on Sunday, he certainly would play for us tomorrow (Saturday)."
Stoinis did not play for Australia on Sunday, while the Stars lost to the Sixers on Saturday.
(With inputs from AFP)