West Indies’ swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran has signed for the Melbourne Stars for the 2020-21 season and is all set to feature in Australia’s Big Bash League for the first time in his career. Pooran was supposedly courted by as many as six BBL franchises last season, but was unable to play the tournament. This season however he is expected to feature for Melbourne Stars in the early part of the competition. 

The 25-year-old has been roped in by the Melbourne Stars as cover for Jonny Bairstow- who will be unavailable for the first half of the tournament as he will be with the England squad touring South Africa. Pooran therefore is expected to be available for the first six games of the Big Bash League, which is slated to begin on December 10. 

“Nick is an impressive player with some big gears who has been in demand in the IPL, the Caribbean Premier League and Pakistan Super League in addition to his West Indies duties for some time,” said Stars coach, David Hussey while going on to add “I’m looking forward to having his talents on our side this season.”

Prior to the Big Bash, Pooran will be in action for his country during West Indies’ tour of New Zealand which is scheduled to begin with three T20 Internationals, with the first one being played on November 27. The southpaw, who represents Kings XI Punjab in the Dream11 Indian Premier League, will be the vice-captain for West Indies for that series.

After the T20 Internationals, Pooran is expected to travel to Australia to join the Melbourne Stars team, which includes his KXIP colleague Glenn Maxwell. As Australia has a travel bubble with New Zealand, Pooran will not be subject to any quarantine requirements.  

Pooran joins the Melbourne Stars off the back of a very successful Dream11 Indian Premier League, where he was the third highest run getter for his franchise, scoring 353 runs at an average of more than 35. The left-handed batsman also scored the most sixes for his franchise, and was just five short of the tournament leader Ishan Kishan who smashed 30 sixes in IPL 2020.