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BBL 2020-21 – West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran joins Melbourne Stars

West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran has joined the Melbourne Stars for the start of the BBL season as cover for new signing Jonny Bairstow.*

Bairstow, along with a host of other England internationals are unavailable until after Christmas due to England’s limited-overs tour of South Africa which finishes on December 9. Australia’s international border security rules due to Covid-19 require travellers from overseas to quarantine for 14 days in a secure hotel upon arrival.

But Australia has a travel bubble with New Zealand where West Indies will be touring at the end of November with the T20I series concluding on November 30. Pooran, who is not part of the Test squad, is likely to be allowed to travel to Australia from New Zealand without quarantining having already done so in New Zealand prior to the series following his arrival from the IPL.

Pooran was courted by several BBL clubs last year but was unable to play in the tournament. He will be available for six matches.

The Stars have also confirmed that Haris Rauf, the Pakistan fast bowler who was one of the breakout stars of last year’s BBL, will not be available for this edition due to international commitments.

Meanwhile, Hobart Hurricanes have signed South African Colin Ingram as cover for Dawid Malan in the early part of the tournament. Ingram previously played for the Adelaide Strikers and was part of their tournament triumph in BBL07, but left the club in abrupt circumstances the following year after captaining the Strikers for part of the season.

Adelaide Strikers have re-signed Sussex opener Phil Salt after he made an impressive BBL debut last year scoring four half-centuries at a blistering strike-rate of 164.09.

Australia’s hard international border will affect a number of the BBL clubs with Bairstow, Malan, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Liam Livingstone, Jason Roy all touring South Africa. Malan may get to leave for Australia a week earlier than his countrymen as he is only part of England’s T20 squad.

*November 12, 9.45am: the story was updated to reflect confirmation of Pooran’s signing

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