BBL: Bairstow replaced by Fletcher at Stars; Imad Wasim joins Renegades

Melbourne Stars have signed West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Andre Fletcher following confirmation that England’s Jonny Bairstow has had to withdraw from the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL). Bairstow has been recalled by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for international duties.

Fletcher has been in New Zealand with the West Indies T20 squad and is a team mate of fellow Stars signing Nicholas Pooran.

“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,” said Fletcher.

Melbourne Stars head coach David Hussey said, “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,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim has signed up with Melbourne Renegades as an overseas player.

Imad, a left arm orthodox spinner and middle order batsman, will be available for matches from December 26 onwards and joins Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad and Imran Tahir as the overseas players on the Renegades playing roster.

“Imad is one of the best T20 players in the world with his ability to impact games with the ball and to finish the innings with the bat,” Melbourne Renegades coach Michael Klinger said.

“He’s an experienced player with recent title success, he’s capable of bowling in the powerplay and he’ll strengthen our middle order batting,” he added.

Currently ranked in the top ten T20I bowlers in the world, Imad led the Karachi Kings to the Pakistan Super League title last month. He also played 11 games for Nottinghamshire in England’s domestic T20 competition before the side went on to win the title in October.