Dwayne Bravo will play for the Melbourne Stars in the forthcoming season of the Big Bash League, making the switch from cross-town rivals Melbourne Renegades. The former West Indies all-rounder has made himself available for the full season, despite complaining about the length of the seven-week long tournament last year.
Bravo, 35, will be re-united with his Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming at Stars. Fleming, it was said, played a key role in convincing Bravo to make the switch once his contract with the Renegades ran out. “It’s almost Big Bash time again and I’m very excited to be representing the Melboure Stars,” he said. “I’ve worked with Stephen Fleming before, he’s a great coach and I’m sure we can do great things together at the Stars.
“The MCG is where it all started for me in Australia and I can’t wait to call it home over the summer. I want all the fans to come down and support Team Green on New Year’s Day when we take on my old team in Melbourne Derby,” Bravo added.
Bravo’s acquisition completes the two-member overseas quota for Stars, who lost Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen at the end of last season. The import position will be shared by Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane and English leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.
Bravo’s all-round qualities and T20 experience – he’s won two World T20s and has T20 titles with CSK and Trinbago Knight Riders – make a perfect fit in an otherwise young squad, according to coach Fleming. “I’ve worked with Dwayne for a number of years in the IPL and have always thought he’d be a great addition to the Stars dressing room. He’s obviously got his flamboyant side, which is great entertainment for the crowd and can really lift the energy on-field, but it’s his attacking style with both the bat and ball that can turn a game,” said Fleming
“Dwayne can be lethal with the ball, plus come in at five or six in the batting order and add some real star power. I think he’s been consistently good in the Big Bash over the years, and last year he was one of the best performers in BBL with the ball taking 18 wickets with best figures of 5-28.
“We have a lot of brilliant young players coming through at the Stars and balancing that we’re bringing in one of the most experienced T20 players in the world. Bravo holds the record for most wickets in T20, has played 410 T20 matches and his leadership, having captained Trinbago to this year’s CPL title, will be a huge asset around the Club,” he added.
The Stars have yet to win the BBL heading into the eighth season of the competition. They’ve made the semifinals on six seasons, finishing runners-up in 2015-16. They had their worst season last year, finishing with the wooden spoon having picked up only two victories from 10 games in the league phase.