For the second-straight year the BBL has lost a marquee signing at the last minute, with Harry Brook withdrawing from his deal with the Melbourne Stars just three weeks out from the competition start. The Englishman, who was the second overall pick in the draft, was set to join the Stars for seven games this summer after England's tour of the West Indies in December.
But Brook and the Stars announced on Thursday that he was withdrawing from his BBL commitments due to workload issues. The Stars said they have already signed an unnamed international player to replace Brook.
'WHAT A JOKE': Aussies caught up in 'outrageous' World Cup furore
"Currently the coaching staff and list management team are discussing options for the remainder of the tournament and we look forward to announcing those signings once they have been finalised," said Stars general manager Blair Crouch. "Naturally we're disappointed that Harry has withdrawn from the BBL but we understand his decision with his increased workload.
"We obviously rate Harry extremely highly and we would have loved to have seen him at the MCG alongside Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis this summer. We wish him all the best with his upcoming international commitments."
Brook played in England's drawn Ashes series against Australia earlier this year, as well as the Poms' miserable World Cup campaign in India. The 24-year-old is already slated to miss the first three games of their tour of the Windies.
Brook's withdrawal comes just three weeks before the start of the BBL and follows Liam Livingstone's decision to do the same last season. Livingstone withdrew from his deal with the Melbourne Renegades when he was a surprise selection in the England squad. David Willey also pulled out of his commitment with the Sydney Thunder for undisclosed reasons.
Was such a strange signing as he was always going to be picked for the West Indies tour
— Warren Tarling (@wozzajt) November 15, 2023
Why do you guys keep picking these English players when they opt out most of the time. They did the same stuff last year now again repeating their shit like a wheel. And plz for the Love of GOD win the league this time.
— @hmad (@HomoTapien007) November 15, 2023
Not sure what can be done but franchises base their draft strategy around certain players. Now they are left hanging.
— Matt Hope (@MattHope4) November 15, 2023
Poor form Harry. He knew his schedule, he can't be tired from the WC he barely played. 2 weeks notice is a dick move.
— Abbey (@Ablovescricket) November 15, 2023
No way. Who could see this coming after the same thing happening last year?
— Pikey (@pikey14) November 15, 2023
Multi year central contract plan strikes ..
— Madhumita Gupta (@docmadhu82) November 15, 2023
Melbourne Stars. The ultimate banter franchise.
— Rob McKay (@RobMcKay86) November 15, 2023
Nathan Lyon to play for Melbourne Renegades in BBL
The Stars will also be without the services of Adam Zampa after he defected to cross-town rivals the Renegades. The Aussie spinner will link up with Test star Nathan Lyon, who has made the switch from the Sydney Sixers.
Lyon spent 10 seasons with the Sixers, helping them win the 2019-20 title. But after limited opportunities in Sydney over the past few seasons, he has joined the Renegades on a three-year deal.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of the Melbourne Renegades," Lyon said in a statement earlier this year. "(Marvel Stadium's) a place where I enjoy bowling, it tends to spin a little bit. I'm looking forward to hopefully joining up with 'Zamps' in a really good partnership and putting a show on for the Renegades fans.
"I've got some really good friends who are part of the Melbourne Renegades, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to come down. There's a good group of senior players there who I've played a lot of cricket with internationally and also domestically, then you look at the younger guys throughout the roster – it's a pretty powerful squad in my eyes."
Renegades general manager James Rosengarten said: "Over the last couple of years, we've had a clear plan around transforming our playing list to give our club the best opportunity to contend for another BBL championship. Being able to add two world-class spinners in Nathan and Adam to our squad for the next couple of years is a significant step in that process, one which we're confident will help to set us up for success over the coming seasons."
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