BBL 2012-13 news July 12, 2012

Murali signs with Melbourne Renegades

ESPNcricinfo staff

The two most prolific wicket-takers in international cricket are expected to be part of a cross-town rivalry in Melbourne this season, after Muttiah Muralitharan confirmed he would play for the Renegades in the Big Bash League. Muralitharan, 40, will be based at Etihad Stadium in the Docklands and Shane Warne is likely to head back to the MCG to play for the Melbourne Stars again, although his return is yet to be confirmed.

It will be Muralitharan's first taste of Australian domestic cricket after he signed for Victoria in the Big Bash in 2009 but was forced to withdraw due to a conflict with Sri Lanka's international schedule. Last season, he chose to play for Wellington in New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 competition instead of the BBL, but he was keen to test himself in Australia this year.

"I wanted to play one season in Australia and the opportunity from the Melbourne Renegades was there so I took it with both hands," Muralitharan said. "Last year I watched [the BBL] from New Zealand and it's a good standard of players and a competitive tournament.

"I think it will be interesting to play against [Chris] Gayle because he's one of the best batsmen in T20 and I played with him at the Royal Challengers Bangalore [in the Indian Premier League]. It will be good to play with him or against him. I think Shane is a great bowler and I've always admired him. I'll try to do well and he'll try to do well for his team."

Gayle has not yet been announced as a signing by any of the eight teams this year but he is expected to feature in the tournament, having been a major drawcard for the Sydney Thunder last season. Muralitharan is the fourth international player to be signed for the BBL this year, after Daniel Vettori (Brisbane Heat), Owais Shah (Hobart Hurricanes) and John Botha (Adelaide Strikers).

Muralitharan will do much of his work on a drop-in pitch at Etihad Stadium, which he said might help his cause. "Sometimes the drop-in pitches can assist the spinners so that might help me," Muralitharan said. "There's a big Sri Lankan community [in Melbourne] so hopefully they can come and watch."

Attracting Muralitharan will be a valuable boost for the Renegades, who have lost key batsmen Brad Hodge and Glenn Maxwell to the Stars. Teams have until Friday next week to sign at least 14 players, and must finalise their 18-man squads by the end of November.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Christopher on July 15, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    Hear,hear @Digimont.I watched a documentary on Youtube in which Mark Nicholas interviews Murali and he goes through his repertoire.There are 3 Tests dismissals shown in the last 7 minutes from a camera placed unusually at square leg.There can be no doubt that the term,'diabolical' used by the highly regarded umpire Daryl Hair is completely vindicated.In 130 years of Test cricket,the laws governing bowling actions have been altered for only one player.In doing so,it has legitimised what was previously unacceptable and dishonoured the entire bowling fraternity who used legitimate actions.The value of cricket exceeds the individuals and is a platform for the promotion of character,courage and the great virtues.Simply abandoning those principles to placate violent and aberrant behaviour towards an official umpire acting within the rules has diluted the entire cricketing dynasty.The 1st bowler to be no-balled out of Tests was Mekiff by Egar-an Australian by an Australian.Its time this ended

  • Kell on July 15, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    @Digimont. Had exactly the same thought. Might be good to see Gayle and Warner get a hold of him tho.

  • Muhammad on July 13, 2012, 16:14 GMT

    I would like to see Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Aridi and Umar Akmal in the BBL; they can definitely add more colours to the tournament!

  • Roo on July 13, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer :- "Lyon , Krejza and Holland"... Hmmm... OK, Lyon I think has potential at his age - even Holland... Krejza?... Well not my call but he has missed the boat atm... But why your prejudice at top quality foreign coaching clinics - all Aussie bowlers have gained insperation from overseas bowlers... Not trying to be personal but do you have a problem with overseas coaches/trainers?....

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @Chris Silva, please talk sense. Murali did say that but HE DID play for SL afterwards in Aus. He learned to cope with the torment and the public also abused him less. He is in no need for even more money. This is his chance to show that he is remarkable even in the only country where he has been mediocre. Let the greatest bowler in the world, and by FARRR Sri Lanka's greatest cricketer EVER, shine!

  • Aswin on July 13, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    @zenboomerang mate why do aus need murali's coaching? Lyon , Krejza and Holland are fantastic

  • David on July 13, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    All I can say is No BALL!

  • Roo on July 13, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Really happy that Murali will play in the BBL... Always liked his competitive spirit & would like CA calling him in for some spin coaching clinics while in Oz - something that Oz needs atm...

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    Well well well. This is the man who refused to go to Australia because "they are picking on me, I do not ever want to go to Australia". It seems money talks. Same with IPL and when it suites them they just do anything.

    Disgrace I say

  • Bored on July 13, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    @smudgeon: My bad then! :-) but seriously, why have all the tweakers suddenly dried up in Oz? They had Hogg, MacGill, Warne at the same time now there's nobody!

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