Australian speedster Mitchell Starc, after a six-year hiatus, will feature in the Big Bash League, having signed up with the Sydney Sixers for the 2020-21 edition of the competition. But while the Sixers roped in Starc, the Melbourne Stars, too, made a ‘Tier 1’ signing in the form of Jonny Bairstow.
The 2020-21 edition of the Big Bash League is shaping up to be one of the most star-studded seasons in the competition’s history after Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, on Monday, confirmed the two biggest signings of the season, yet. While the Sixers confirmed the acquisition of Australian speedster Mitchell Starc, the Stars revealed that they have roped in England’s Jonny Bairstow.
Neither player will be available for the entirety of the season due to international commitments, but while Starc is expected to partake in the final three league games and the playoffs, Bairstow is expected to be available post-Christmas. Bairstow is the 10th Englishman to have signed up to play in BBL 2020-21 and, like Jason Roy, this will be the English opener’s debut in Australia’s premier T20 competition.
Starc, who last appeared in the BBL six years ago, revealed that he was inspired by both Steve Smith and Josh Hazlewood turning up for the Sixers last season, and claimed that he was excited to be involved yet again in the competition.
"I've been watching from afar, the Big Bash, so it's nice to be back involved this year and seeing the guys run around it's a great product," Starc was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"It's a great time of the year for cricket in Australia and the Big Bash just shows that level of cricket and I guess that excitement that everyone wants to watch.
"I was watching Steve and Josh get back involved last year, and still being around and involved with the club I saw a little bit of an opportunity to jump back in. I'm just really looking forward to being back with some of my really close mates that play for NSW and the Sixers. There's some great people at the Sixers behind the scenes too."
Bairstow, who plied his trade with SRH in the IPL, meanwhile, revealed that he was excited to rub shoulders with the likes of Maxwell and Zampa, who he played against in the IPL, and asserted that he was pleased to have signed up with a prestigious franchise like the Stars.
"I'm really pleased to have signed with the Stars. I've always watched the BBL no matter where I've been in the world and it will be nice to finally be a part of it. I know the Stars are one of the competition's profile clubs and have a track record of being in contention in finals," Bairstow said.
"The list is looking good and I can't wait to get involved alongside Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa who I've been playing against during the IPL. I know Melbourne has been through a tough time over the winter with COVID so I hope the Stars can bring some of the fun back over summer and put a smile on people's faces.”
The 2020-21 edition of the Big Bash League will commence on December 10, with Hobart Hurricanes locking horns with the Sixers in the first match of the season at the Bellerive Oval.