There were mixed emotions in the Melbourne Stars camp on December 3 as one marquee player was replaced by another. Last year’s runners-up roped in West Indian opener Andre Fletcher after England’s Jonny Bairstow opted out of BBL 2020-21 owing to international commitments.
Fletcher, who has played more than 200 T20 matches all around the world, joined fellow West Indian Nicholas Pooran in the Melbourne Stars dugout.
The franchise was quick to sign a replacement following the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decision to recall Bairstow for England’s winter tours.
“Jonny Bairstow has had to withdraw from the @BBL after being recalled by the ECB. We wish @jbairstow21 well on his recall and England’s winter tours,” the Melbourne Stars tweeted.
Fletcher, on the other hand, sounded excited on joining hands with the Melbourne-based franchise.
Check the BBL fixtures 2020 here.
“I’m really looking forward to coming over to the Melbourne Stars and being part of what should be an exciting season ahead. Hopefully I can bring my brand of batting and recent form to the Stars during the BBL,” Fletcher, who scored 211 runs and helped the St Lucia Zouks reach the CPL 2020 final, said.
Melbourne Stars head coach David Hussey regretted missing the services of Bairstow, but heaped praise on the new signing. Andre Fletcher, though, is expected to be available only till around Australia Day on January 26 next year.
“We’re naturally disappointed Jonny won’t be able to link up with us this season but we wish him well on his recall and England’s winter tours…We’re glad Andre was in a position to join us and he’ll bring plenty of power and entertainment at the top of the batting order.
“Andre is a former T20 World Cup winner with the West Indies so he knows what it takes to succeed in major tournaments and I’m confident he’ll be a great asset around our group,” the Melbourne Stars chief was quoted as saying on the franchise’s official website.
Local players: Glenn Maxwell (c), Hilton Cartwright, Jackson Coleman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Lance Morris, Tom O’Connell, Will Pucovski, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
Overseas players: Andre Fletcher (West Indies), Dilbar Hussain (Pakistan), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan), Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)
The Melbourne Stars kick-off their BBL10 campaign on December 11 against the Brisbane Heat at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Their final league match is scheduled for January 26 against the Sydney Sixers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.