Melbourne [Australia], November 3 (ANI): Melbourne Renegades have recruited big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell as a result of Liam Livingstone’s unexpected England Test call-up.
After being hired as a stand-in for the Melbourne Renegades’ No. 1 pick Liam Livingstone, West Indian sensation Andre Russell will compete in the Big Bash League (BBL) for a second consecutive season.
Russell was overlooked in the BBL 12 Draft in August, in part because of his minimal availability and hefty cost, but he agreed to a four-game contract in December after Livingstone was unexpectedly selected for England’s Test team for their tour of Pakistan.
Before the Englishman joins the team following the completion of the third Test on December 21, the 34-year-old Jamaican will be available for the Renegades’ first four games of the BBL12 season.
Russell, who has played in 428 T20 cricket matches and is one of the game’s most seasoned players, will don the Renegades’ uniform for their games against the Heat (December 15 and 21), Thunder (December 18), and Hurricanes (Christmas Eve) in Hobart.
He first played for the Renegades in BBL Season 4, and this will be his second stint with the team. It will be his fourth season overall in the league, having previously played for the Sydney Thunder and most recently the Melbourne Stars last summer.
“I love playing in Australia and I’m looking forward to seeing all the Renegades fans turn out at Marvel Stadium and in Geelong. I will be doing everything I can to help the Melbourne Renegades start the tournament with a bang,” said Russell as quoted by cricket.com.au.
In the first foreign player draft on August 28, BBL clubs initially passed on Russell since he could only be recruited as a $340,000 platinum choice and would only be available until early January before joining Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the UAE’s new International League T20 league.
For the BBL12, each club is allowed to recruit up to four foreign replacement players, with Livingstone and Russell splitting the initial platinum retainer cost on a per-game basis.
Livingstone is anticipated to be available for at least four games beginning with the Renegades’ match against the Sixers on December 28 at the SCG before joining the MI Cape Town team in South Africa’s new T20 league.
As clubs sought to maximize the amount of matches their international stars would be available for this season, Russell was one of five marquee candidates that missed selection in the draft, along with fellow West Indian veterans Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and South African Faf du Plessis.
The Renegades are the only team to have signed foreign replacement players thus far. Former Sri Lankan first-class player turned Victorian leg-spinner Ruwantha Kellapotha was also picked by the Renegades along with spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Akeal Hosein with choices nine and 25, respectively. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.