The Spartan cricket team just got even stronger with one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket, Kevin Pietersen, signing with the game’s most imposing squad.

In a major coup, Pietersen has joined the Spartan Sports family in a unique partnership deal.

He will make his season debut for the Melbourne Stars on New Year’s Day using Spartan equipment.

“It is fantastic to have KP joining our fleet of elite Spartans. He is one of the all-time greats of international cricket and he is a perfect fit for what we stand for at Spartan,” Spartan Managing Director Kunal Sharma said.

By working in collaboration with Spartan, Pietersen now joins cricket luminaries Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson as an ambassador for the brand.

As part of the agreement, he will use a Spartan bat which features eye-catching artwork, designed in collaboration with Pietersen and approved for use in the Big Bash League by Cricket Australia.

The edges and back of the bat are black and feature a number of white rhinos to draw attention to a special cause being championed by Pietersen. It is being supported collaboratively by Spartan, Optus and the Melbourne Stars.

Pietersen is hoping the Spartan bat will help raise awareness of the global rhino poaching crisis, with estimates that more than 5000 rhinos have been poached in South Africa alone since 2010.

It is feared the rhinoceros will be extinct in the wild by 2024 if the situation is not addressed. Poachers around the world are hunting the rhino for its horn, which is very valuable and seen as a status symbol, particularly in Asia.

“I’m obsessed with making sure my kids’ kids are able to enjoy the privilege of seeing rhinos in their natural habitat, and raising awareness of the disgusting rhino horn trade is something I care deeply about,” Pietersen said.

It is a cause Spartan will be lending its collective support to.

“Spartan is delighted to be supporting Kevin in his efforts to raise awareness for a cause that he is so passionate about and we are confident that the striking rhino artwork on his new Spartan bat will assist with that,” Mr Sharma said.

“Spartan prides itself on being a genuine game changer through brave initiatives, innovation and creativity. Kevin certainly fits that brief as both a cricketer and a man who is looking to make a difference for a great cause off the field.”