Australia news July 5, 2012

Muralitharan keen to play in BBL

ESPNcricinfo staff

Muttiah Muralitharan has declared his intention to play in the Big Bash League next season, and the Melbourne Renegades could be the most likely team to win his services. Muralitharan played for Wellington in New Zealand's domestic T20 competition last summer instead of turning out in the BBL but he has said he is keen to take part in the Australian tournament before he retires.

Muralitharan, 40, is currently playing T20 cricket with Gloucestershire and having retired from international cricket, he has become something of a domestic T20 specialist. Already this year he has played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and the Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League, and several BBL sides would be interested in signing him to their squad.

"Yes, I'm going to play there next summer," Muralitharan told the Age this week. "It is going to be maybe the last year of mine so I may as well come and enjoy the Big Bash. I am still bowling well."

If Muralitharan does join a BBL side it won't be his first flirtation with Australia's T20 cricket. In 2009, he signed with Victoria for what was then called the Big Bash, but the deal fell through due to Sri Lanka's international commitments.

He told the Age his relationships with Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald made the Renegades an attractive proposition, and such a move would also set up a cross-town spin rivalry between Muralitharan and the Melbourns Stars' Shane Warne. However, the BBL contracting window does not open until next week, after the end of the contract period for the state sides.