After almost five years, West Indies star all-rounder Andre Russell is all set to make a shocking return in Australia’s domestic T20 tournament – Big Bash League (BBL).
Russel will link up with the injury-hit Melbourne Stars side for five matches and play his first match of the ongoing season against Sydney Thunder at the MCG on Friday (December 10).
The 33-year-old played 19 BBL games across three seasons, with his last appearance coming in early January 2017 against the Stars when he was a part of the Thunder. He was stretchered off from the Spotless Stadium after injuring his hamstring in that fixture.
In February 2017, the Jamaican-born was banned from playing all forms of cricket for a whereabouts clause violation by an independent anti-doping panel and has not been back to Australia since then.
Overall, Russell has compiled 296 runs from 17 innings at an incredible strike rate of 166.29 in the BBL. He has also taken 23 wickets with an economy rate of 7.97.
Ahead of joining his new club, the Windies T20 superstar said that the opportunity to play at the MCG drew him to the Stars.
“I always try to test my skills and it’s a big ground – when I signed guys were saying ‘see how many sixes you can hit’,” Russell said in his interview to Channel 7.
“Once you’re in the moment, you may hit one into the stands on one of the big sides. I’m just here to experience as well and showcase my talent.
“(I’m) happy to be part of the Big Bash once more, it’s been a couple of years, so I’m looking forward to it.
“The guys went down in the first game and I’m definitely here to give the guys a boost and hopefully I can contribute and help them cross the line,” he added.