Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars on Wednesday announced the signing of world class West Indian all rounder Andre Russell for the ongoing eleventh season of the T20 tournament.
An explosive batter, Russell, whose strike rate is around 170s, has played around 400 T20 games across various leagues and has also scalped 343 wickets.
The West Indian had earlier featured for Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Renegades in the BBL.
Commenting on Russell’s signing, Melbourne Stars Coach, David Hussey said: “To have someone of Andre’s quality play for the Melbourne Stars is a huge signing for our club. We want our Stars family to watch the best players in action at the MCG and Andre is world class. I can’t wait to work with him in the time that he’s here and look forward to his debut on Friday night.”
On the other hand, Melbourne Stars General Manager, Blair Crouch said: “We cannot wait to see Andre at the MCG in front of some big crowds this summer. At the Stars, we always strive to have world class players for our members and fans to admire, and Andre falls comfortably into that category.”
“We look forward to seeing him entertain and thrill everyone, starting on Friday against the Thunder at the MCG,” he added.
The Stars further informed that Russell is currently completing his mandatory 72 hours quarantine after flying into Sydney after a man of the match performance of 90* (32 balls) to propel his Deccan Gladiators to the T10 Title in Abu Dhabi.
As per Star’s statement, Russell will play only five games for the side. HIs first game will be on Friday against the Sydney Thunder at the MCG.
Earlier on tuesday, Melbourne Stars had announced the signing of Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf for the ongoing season.
Rauf, who plays for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), had played in his first BBL match ever two years ago during the BBL 09 and Hussey said the team is eagerly waiting to see the Pakistani back in action.
“We can’t wait to see Haris Rauf back at the Stars. His addition brings experience, energy and quality to our fast-bowling stocks. I’m sure the Stars fans will enjoy seeing him represent Team Green again in BBL|11,” Hussey said.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars General Manager Blair Crouch said: “I’m really proud to welcome Haris back to the Melbourne Stars. We’re delighted that he enjoyed his previous two stints at the club and has decided to return for another season, which is a credit to the culture that David Hussey and his team have built over a number of years.”
“He’s an elite fast bowler who our members and fans adore and I can’t wait to see him back at the MCG,” added he.
Rauf will play his first game on December 27 against the Brisbane Heat, subject to Covid protocols and will remain with the team until the end of the season.
Notably, Rauf had hogged limelight after scalping 20 wickets from 10 matches during the ninth season of the tournament, which also included a famous hat-trick at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Rauf, 28, has played eight ODIs and 32 T20 internationals for Pakistan, after making his international debut in 2020 in both formats.
In the ongoing season, the Stars had a disappointing start as they suffered a humiliating 152-run defeat against Sydney Sixers in their tournament opener on December 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Batting first, the Sixers posted a mammoth 213/4 total in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, the Stars were bundled out for a paltry 61 runs in 11.1 overs, thanks to Steve OKeefe and Sean Abbott, who bagged four and three wickets respectively.
Hayden Kerr and Tom Curran picked two and one wicket each.