BBL 2018-19: Melbourne Stars sign Liam Plunkett as international replacement

BBL season 8 will kick off on December 19 and the Stars will play their first game against the Sydney Thunder on December 21.

Liam Plunkett England
Liam Plunkett of England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Cricketers find it hard to remain unemployed these days. Days after he was released by Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) in the Indian Premier League, England pacer Liam Plunkett has found a new taker and it is the Melbourne Stars who signed him as an international replacement for an injured Matt Parkinson in the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season.

Plunkett will be donning the replacement player’s mantle for Nepalese teenage bowler Sandeep Lamichhane while he plays in the Bangladesh Premier League, reported melbournestars.com.au. The BBL, Australia’s domestic T20 tournament, will kick off on December 19 and the Stars will play their first game against the Sydney Thunder on December 21. However, it will only be on January 1 that the Stars will play their first game at home – Melbourne Cricket Ground – and it will be against the namesakes Melbourne Renegades.

Plunkett, who made his England debut in 2005, is a key member of their limited-over team with 115 wickets in 74 matches. He is also a handy batsman with a decent batting average while in the T20Is, he has 23 scalps till date with the best bowling figures of 3 for 21. The cricketer, known as ‘Pudsy’, also entered a three-year deal with Surrey and will be moving there from Yorkshire in county cricket.

Plunkett has played with Stars players

At the Stars, Plunkett will not be a stranger as he already has experience of playing with members like Glenn Maxwell and Lamichhane for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Trent Woodhill, list manager of the Stars, rued the team losing Parkinson whose stress fracture injury on the back is yet to heal, but was content with the arrival of Plunkett to replace him.

“It’s obviously disappointing for Matt that he won’t be able to partake in what would have been his first Big Bash season. We’d like to wish Matt a very speedy recovery,” Woodhill was quoted as saying.

“However, this circumstance provides us with opportunity and in Plunkett we have an experienced and successful white ball bowler who has excelled for England and Yorkshire.”

Melbourne Stars Squad: Michael Beer, Peter Handscomb, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Daniel Worrall, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Coleman, Liam Bowe, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Jonathan Merlo, Evan Gulbis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Liam Plunkett (international replacement)

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