England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow will make his Big Bash League debut this winter after joining Melbourne Stars.
Bairstow has spent the last two months in the UAE playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League and is expected to be available for the Stars from after Christmas through until the end of the BBL season.
The 31-year-old Yorkshireman will miss the early part of the tournament having been selected for England’s white-ball series in South Africa in late November and early December and will then have to quarantine on his arrival in Australia.
“I’m really pleased to have signed with the Stars,” Bairstow told the Stars’ official website. “I’ve always watched the BBL no matter where I’ve been in the world and it will be nice to finally be a part of it. I know the Stars are one of the competition’s profile clubs and have a track record of being in contention in finals.
“The list is looking good and I can’t wait to get involved alongside Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa who I’ve been playing against during the IPL. I know Melbourne has been through a tough time over the winter with COVID so I hope the Stars can bring some of the fun back over summer and put a smile on people’s faces.”
Bairstow is the latest England international to play for the Stars with Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright both having enjoyed successful spells at the Victoria franchise and head coach David Hussey is hopeful his new recruit can make a similar impact with bat and gloves.
“I’m glad that Jonny has decided to make his BBL debut with us at the Melbourne Stars. He’s been playing at the top level with England for almost a decade now and brings a real competitive fire to matches,” he said.
“His experience and versatility will be a valuable addition to our batting line-up, and we’ve got several ‘keeping options in the squad as well.”