New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder will not turn out for Melbourne Renegades at the Big Bash League this season. His absence is due to a back injury, a Renegades statement said, and England's Ben Stokes will replace him in the squad.
Melbourne Renegades head coach Simon Helmot said Stokes would be an important addition to the team. "Ben is a quality player and was recognised by many as one the shining lights during England's difficult tour of Australia last year," he said. "He brings international experience and a real energy and will be a great asset to both our bowling stocks and batting line up.
"Obviously we wish Jesse well in his recovery from his back injury and hope we get the chance to see him in red in the summers to come."
Allrounder Stokes averages 23.63 and strikes it at 128.35 with the bat in Twenty20 cricket, and has 19 T20 wickets with his medium pace at 33.94. In the 2013-14 Ashes, which Australia won 5-0, Stokes impressed with a century in Perth.
Ryder has not played competitive cricket since November 13, and he had pulled out of New Zealand A's tour to the UAE due to personal reasons later that month. He was not included in New Zealand's 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup.