The Melbourne Stars have made a statement securing the signature of England batsmen Jonny Bairstow.
This will be the Englishman’s first season in the BBL and he is expected to join the Stars squad after Christmas.
BIG news to start your week.
Welcome, @jbairstow21 💚
— Melbourne Stars (@StarsBBL) November 8, 2020
Bairstow said he was keen to get started for the team in green.
“I’m really pleased to have signed with the Stars.
“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 added.
Bairstow looks set to bat at the top of the order which is a spot the Stars tried several batsmen at in a bid to find support for the dominant Marcus Stoinis.
Seb Gotch, Nic Maddinson and Hilton Cartwright were all given a chance at the top of the order and while all three have been retained for the upcoming season they will most likely be shuffled down the order after Bairstow arrives.
Bairstow is now the tenth Englishman to commit for BBL|10, although he will miss the opening few weeks of the tournament due to quarantine requirements following England’s tour of South Africa.
All overseas travellers entering Australia must quarantine for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Melbourne Stars Head Coach David Hussey said Bairstow’s ability to bat and also keep make him a very valuable signing.
“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.
“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.”
Melbourne Stars General Manager Nick Cummins said signing Bairstow was a big move forward for the Stars in their pursuit for a maiden BBL title.
“We’re excited to have Jonny on board this season and look forward to what he brings to our team. We’ve got a proven track record when it comes to England batsmen – Luke Wright was one of our best-ever performers and no one will forget Kevin Pietersen’s extended time in green. For our members and fans, we hope Jonny can continue to add to that chapter for the club.”
Bairstow has recently been dropped from his IPL franchise after a poor run of form and has also found himself out of England’s test team. In last year’s IPL, Bairstow averaged 55.62, striking at 157.24 in 10 matches.