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Melbourne Stars have been forced to make a late change to their BBL squad signing West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher after Englishman Jonny Bairstow was ruled out due to international duty.

Bairstow was expected to be available for the Stars after Christmas after completing the 14-day mandatory quarantine in Australia following England’s limited-overs tour of South Africa. However, he is expected to be recalled to England’s Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in January.

The Stars moved swiftly to sign Fletcher, who like fellow Stars signing Nicholas Pooran, has been in New Zealand playing in the T20I series.

“We’re naturally disappointed Jonny won’t be able to link up with us this season but we wish him well on his recall and England’s winter tours,” Stars coach David Hussey said.

“We’re glad Andre was in a position to join us and he’ll bring plenty of power and entertainment at the top of the batting order. Andre is a former T20 World Cup winner with the West Indies so he knows what it takes to succeed in major tournaments and I’m confident he’ll be a great asset around our group.”

Fletcher has played 200 T20 matches worldwide with extensive experience in the Caribbean Premier League, the Bangladesh Premier League, and the Pakistan Super League. He is likely to be available for the Stars for the regular season up until January 26.

“I’m really looking forward to coming over to the Melbourne Stars and being part of what should be an exciting season ahead,” Fletcher said. Hopefully, I can bring my brand of batting and recent form to the Stars during the BBL.”



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Cricket

Bangladesh vs Australia T20Is, 2021

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The 1994 tour to Pakistan was the last time a full series was not available to viewers in Australia

For the first time since 1994 a tour by the Australia men’s team will not broadcast into Australia after a last-minute deal failed to materialise for the rights to the T20I series in Bangladesh.

It had been hoped that in the absence of a traditional television deal the series would be streamed on YouTube but there was no live coverage into Australia.

Australia’s injured captain Aaron Finch, who is currently in hotel quarantine in Melbourne having left the tour with a knee injury, was among those caught out by the lack of coverage during the first T20I.

While the occasional one-off limited-overs match has not been seen in Australia over the last few years, it is not since the 1994 tour of Pakistan that an entire series won’t have been shown.



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IPL 2021 – Eoin Morgan to return to Kolkata Knight Riders for second half of IPL

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He says involvement of other England players in the tournament, scheduled in September-October in the UAE, was a matter of personal choice

Eoin Morgan has confirmed he will return to Kolkata Knight Riders for the rescheduled second half of the IPL in the UAE in September-October following the postponement of England’s limited-overs tour to Bangladesh.

England were due to play three ODIs and three T20Is in Bangladesh in September-October but the ECB and the BCB released statements on Tuesday morning confirming that they had “mutually decided” to postpone the tour until March 2023. The IPL is due to resume on September 19 after its postponement midway through the season earlier this year, with the tour’s postponement opening up the opportunity for England’s white-ball players to take part ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE.



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James Anderson admits his wife talked him out of retirement after injury setbacks

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England seamer says he struggled after calf problem forced him out of 2019 Ashes

James Anderson has admitted he had to be talked out of retirement by his wife after a series of injury setbacks.

Anderson managed just four overs in the 2019 Ashes after a recurrence of a calf injury ruled him out in the opening moments of the first Test. In the aftermath, he concedes he was struggling with the prospect of more rehabilitation work and it required the intervention of his wife, Daniella, to persuade him to continue.

He has claimed 42 more Test wickets at a cost of 23.00 since then, becoming the only seamer in Test history to reach the milestone of 600 wickets.

“A big reason I am still playing cricket is my wife,” Anderson said ahead of the first LV= Insurance Test against India at Trent Bridge. “She’s been really supportive.



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