Melbourne Stars sign Haris Rauf for ongoing BBL season

In a move aimed to bolster its injury-hit pace attack, Melbourne Stars on Tuesday announced the signing of Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf for the ongoing eleventh season of the Big Bash League (BBL)

Rauf, who plays for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), had played in his first BBL match ever two years ago during the BBL 09.

Melbourne Stars head coach David Hussey said the team is eagerly waiting to see Rauf back in action.

Hussey said: “We can’t wait to see Haris Rauf back at the Stars. His addition brings experience, energy and quality to our fast-bowling stocks. I’m sure the Stars fans will enjoy seeing him represent Team Green again in BBL|11.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars General Manager Blair Crouch said: “I’m really proud to welcome Haris back to the Melbourne Stars. We’re delighted that he enjoyed his previous two stints at the club and has decided to return for another season, which is a credit to the culture that David Hussey and his team have built over a number of years.”

“He’s an elite fast bowler who our members and fans adore and I can’t wait to see him back at the MCG,” added he.

Rauf will play his first game on December 27 against the Brisbane Heat, subject to Covid protocols and will remain with the team until the end of the season.

Notably, Rauf had hogged limelight after scalping 20 wickets from 10 matches during the ninth season of the tournament, which also included a famous hat-trick at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Rauf, 28, has played eight ODIs and 32 T20 internationals for Pakistan, after making his international debut in 2020 in both formats.

The Glenn Maxwell-led Melbourne Stars will next face the Sydney Thunder on Friday in their first home game of the season at the MCG.

In the ongoing season, the Stars had a disappointing start as they suffered a humiliating 152-run defeat against Sydney Sixers in their tournament opener on December 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Batting first, the Sixers posted a mammoth 213/4 total in the allotted 20 overs. In reply, the Stars were bundled out for a paltry 61 runs in 11.1 overs, thanks to Steve OKeefe and Sean Abbott, who bagged four and three wickets respectively.

Hayden Kerr and Tom Curran picked two and one wicket each.

Melbourne Stars squad:

Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan), Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke (England), Brody Couch (replacement for Billy Stanlake), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Syed Faridoun, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchcliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (Captain), Peter Nevill (replacement for Seb Gotch), Tom O’Connell, Sam Rainbird, Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Adam Zampa

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