Big Bash League 2012-13 August 21, 2012

Warne to captain Melbourne Stars, Malinga also signs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Warne has been confirmed as the captain of the Melbourne Stars for this season's Big Bash League, and he will be joined by Lasith Malinga in the line-up. The Stars unveiled their latest signings on Tuesday in Melbourne, which brings their list to 16 and leaves them with two more spaces to fill before the November 30 deadline.

Warne, who turns 43 next month, was widely tipped to lead the Stars after Cameron White stepped down as captain in July. Warne no longer plays in the IPL and has not played a match since last summer's BBL, in which he took seven wickets at an average of 26 and a strike-rate of 6.74.

"I've always admired his attacking captaincy and in addition to his bowling guile we believe his leadership will have a positive influence on the team both now and in to the future," the Stars chairman of selectors Ian Chappell said of Warne. "This is a strong addition to what was always a highly competitive squad."

The addition of Malinga also provides a major boost for the Stars, who reached the semi-finals of last year's tournament but could not progress to the decider. Malinga, 28, did not take part in the BBL last season and his appearance for the Stars will help him move up the list of all-time Twenty20 wicket-takers - he currently sits fourth with 161 victims at 16.91.

Malinga joins the England all-rounder Luke Wright as the two internationals on the Melbourne Stars list. Chappell said Malinga would be valuable for several reasons.

"For quite a few years now Lasith Malinga has been one of the premier short-form bowlers," Chappell said. "He fulfills two important roles - he takes wickets and there's no better finishing bowler in the game.

"Lasith has always been a popular player on tours of Australia and with a large Sri Lankan population in Victoria, his presence is sure to add to the atmosphere wherever he plays. Indicative of the confidence on both sides, the Stars were delighted when Lasith agreed to a multi-year contract."