West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has signed for the Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming Big Bash League in Australia. He will join West Indies team-mate Dwayne Bravo in the Renegades squad, which will be led by Aaron Finch.
"I'm really looking forward to getting to Australia and playing a key role for the Melbourne Renegades this season," Russell said. "The Renegades have a talented squad this year with a good mix of big hitters and great bowlers so I want to contribute to the team in both areas this season. The Melbourne crowds are well known for being passionate about sport and I'm excited to experience that atmosphere at Etihad Stadium."
Russell has an experience of 124 T20 matches till now by playing in the IPL, the Friends Life t20 in England in 2013, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League. He is currently representing Knights in the Ram Slam T20 tournament in South Africa, where he struck two consecutive fifties recently - one off 19 deliveries and the other off 30. His overall strike rate is an impressive 163.90 and he has 79 wickets, but with an economy of 8.28.
Renegades coach Simon Helmot said signing an allrounder like Russell would add to their existing bowling options. "We've got some really solid batting talent across the line up and we were keen to add an explosive allrounder within our squad," he said. "Andre fits that bill and increases our bowling options with the likes of Peter Siddle, Nathan Rimmington, Fawad Ahmed, Aaron O'Brien and James Pattinson as he continues his return from injury."
The BBL starts on December 18 and the Renegades will begin their campaign the next day against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.