Australian news November 16, 2009

Mascarenhas replaces Malinga at Tasmania

Cricinfo staff

The England allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas will replace Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga for Tasmania's Twenty20 campaign this season. The Tigers announced in July that they had signed Malinga but Sri Lanka's international commitments in January have forced the state to change their plans.

"When Malinga was first signed we knew this was a possibility," David Boon, Cricket Tasmania's cricket operations general manager, said. "Although it is disappointing, we have a suitable back-up player in Dimitri Mascarenhas who will arrive in Hobart during December."

Mascarenhas, 32, was raised in Australia and has played club cricket in Melbourne and Perth, but this will be his first taste of state cricket in Australia. A regular member of England's Twenty20 international side, Mascarenhas will offer Tasmania powerful striking and medium-pace bowling.

Malinga is not the first Sri Lankan star to sign for the Big Bash only to later become unavailable - South Australia have already gained and then lost Ajantha Mendis, who was replaced by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi. Victoria are yet to make an announcement on Muttiah Muralitharan, who had agreed to play for the Bushrangers.

Each state is allowed to sign two international players for the Big Bash, which runs from late December to January. Chris Gayle has signed with Western Australia, Dwayne Bravo with Victoria, while Kieron Pollard and Afridi will play for South Australia.