Melbourne Stars spinner requests shock switch to rival BBL club, player-swap floated

This would be HUGE.

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09: Adam Zampa of the Stars during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Melbourne Stars at Blundstone Arena, on January 09, 2023, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Simon Sturzaker/Getty Images)

Melbourne Stars captain and Australian white-ball spinner Adam Zampa has requested a move to BBL rivals the Melbourne Renegades.

Zampa took on the captaincy duties for the Stars over the course of the BBL|12 season in the absence of injured skipper Glenn Maxwell, with his first opportunity in leading the franchise resulting in a disappointing three-win season.

The veteran leg-spinner remained a standout for the Stars with ball-in-hand however, taking 16 wickets at an average of 25 and an economy of 7.14.

Following the club's dismal summer turnout, the Stars are reportedly looking to rejig their roster prior to the BBL|13 season, with Zampa seeking a move to his side's closest rivals.

Both the Stars and Renegades confirmed Zampa's intentions on Thursday, with in-form wicketkeeper Sam Harper expected to head the other way.

The move would see Zampa link up with his fourth BBL franchise after previously holding roles with the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers before switching to Victoria, while Harper would return to the Stars after five years with the Renegades.

Zampa's switch would also see the 30-year-old join close friends Nic Maddinson and Kane Richardson, with the former having worked closely with the spinner at the international level with Australia in the T20 format.

BBL clubs are currently unable to sign under the current embargo, however once lifted players will begin to find new homes, with the Zampa-Harper move potentially one of the first.

"The Melbourne Renegades can confirm Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa has requested a trade to the club," a Renegades statement reads.

"Zampa, 30, captained the Melbourne Stars this season and has a contract until the end of BBL|14.

"No trades can be formally processed, and binding agreements between clubs cannot be made, during Cricket Australia's contracting embargo period, which came into effect at the beginning of the BBL Final.

"However, the clubs have exchanged non-binding correspondence that could see Zampa join the Renegades in exchange for Sam Harper once the trade period opens for next season."

That trade could see Zampa exit the Stars despite being contracted with the club until the end of the 2024/25 season.

Australia ODI & T20 Squad Members Training Session
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Adam Zampa of Australia warms up during a training session ahead of the ODI & T20 tour of Pakistan at Junction Oval on March 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Harper's return to the Stars would also come with some raised eyebrows, with the gloveman having enjoyed a career-best campaign this tournament with the bat.

The 26-year-old notched up 264 runs at an average of 22 after returning to the Renagdes' XI, scoring three successive centuries including a career-high 89 runs against Hobart.

Harper's tipped arrival at the Stars could see the Green outfit change up their international recruits for the next season of the BBL, having relied on Englishman Joe Clarke behind the stumps for the past two summers.

The Stars will have priority access to Clarke at the BBL Draft ahead of the new season.