Revamped Renegades hope to climb off the bottom
Guptill joins Renegades in BBL following release from NZ contract
Liam Livingstone withdraws from BBL in major blow to the tournament
Melbourne Renegades hit by Liam Livingstone's England Test call-up
BBL overseas draft: Livingstone to Renegades; Boult to Stars; Russell unpicked
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Russell previously played seven games in for Renegades in 2014-15, which was his first stint at the BBL.
"I can't wait to be part of the Big Bash League again this summer," Russell said. "I'm excited to be back in red, and will be doing everything I can to help the Melbourne Renegades start the tournament with a bang."
Livingstone was taken as the No.1 pick in the inaugural overseas draft back in August as a platinum player, but was anyway not going to be available for the whole tournament after signing with MI Cape Town in the inaugural SA20 league to be held in January.
Russell, who was courted by the BBL to be one of the headline picks in the draft having previously played for Renegades, Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars as recently as last season, was overlooked by all of the clubs mainly due to his limited availability. His stint with Stars only lasted five games last season due to commitments in other leagues.
Renegades General Manager James Rosengarten said Russell had been in their initial draft plans, and they did not hesitate to get him in as a replacement player.
"We are thrilled to have Andre Russell returning to the Renegades this summer," Rosengarten said. "Andre is one of the best T20 players in the world; he's a proven match-winner and exactly the type of player we need. He adds to our team in all three facets of the game - his ability to clear the boundary, take wickets, and make things happen in the field.
"We had positive discussions with Andre throughout the draft process, and were always keen to try to get him back in red. With Liam's availability changing after the draft, there was an opportunity to add Andre to our group, and we jumped at it."
Melbourne Renegades squad: Nic Maddinson (capt), Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Akeal Hosein (overseas), Ruwantha Kellapotha (overseas), Liam Livingstone (overseas), Shaun Marsh, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Corey Rocchiccioli, Tom Rogers, Andre Russell (overseas), Will Sutherland, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (overseas), Jon Wells