Big-hitting Brisbane allrounder Ben Cutting insists the Heat are unfazed by Kevin Pietersen's distaste for the city he's recently labelled a "s**thole", but suggested the Gabba crowd won't hold back in targeting the former England captain during their KFC Big Bash opener against Melbourne Stars.
Pietersen will kick off his fourth season with the Stars in their clash with the Heat on Wednesday evening in Brisbane, a city where he's won few friends in recent times.
"I absolutely love Australia – wonderful golf courses, magnificent restaurants … great people, great cities," the 37-year-old told cricket.com.au recently with a pointed caveat. "Apart from Brisbane."
Fulfilling commentary duties during the first Magellan Ashes Test in Queensland's capital, Pietersen vowed he'd be on the "first aeroplane out of here as soon as the last ball is bowled", with a recent Instagram post (below) from the controversial Englishman captioned with the simple hashtag 'Enough Said'.
Given the pointed remarks, Brisbane-born Cutting believes Pietersen should brace himself for some targeted sledging when he strides to the middle.
"If he wants to s**t-can it (Brisbane), it doesn't worry me," Cutting told reporters on Tuesday.
"I think they will give it to him. They never miss him, they don't miss any of the Poms when they come out here. That's going to be exciting."
Pietersen has a long-running beef with Brisbane, despite playing his 100th Test at the Gabba in 2013 and holding a reasonable record at the venue, where he's scored 235 runs at a tick under 40 in three Tests and an ODI.
Local newspaper The Courier Mail labelled Pietersen "so arrogant not even his own team likes him" after the polarising batsman arrived in Brisbane with dark sunglasses and headphones on during the 2013-14 Ashes.
In naming his 10 least favourite cricket grounds last year, Canberra's Manuka Oval was the only Australian venue Pietersen included before stressing that he had in fact meant to include the Gabba.
Cutting meanwhile playfully took exception to allrounder Marcus Stoinis' confident – if somewhat tongue-in-cheek – declaration that Stars leg-spinner Adam Zampa has the measure of six-hitting sensation Chris Lynn.
"They're a good team and one of the favourites with 'Lynny' and 'Baz' (Brendon) McCullum at the top of the order," Stoinis said on Tuesday.
"But no offence to them, we've got them covered and speaking to 'Zamps' before, he has him (Lynn) covered."
While uncertain as to whether Lynn will definitely make an earlier-than-anticipated return from shoulder surgery to play on Wednsday, Cutting labelled Stoinis' assertion as Melburnian arrogance.
"That's just a typical Melbourne thing isn't it, they think they're better than us in every way," he said with a laugh.
"Luckily it doesn't turn too much at the Gabba. (Lynn) will hit straight down the line like he did last year."