Pakistan pace sensation Haris Rauf will return to the Melbourne Stars in a major boost for the club.
With changes to international commitments and scheduling, 27 year-old Rauf is now available to play for the club in January.
Rauf made global cricket headlines in his debut BBL|09 season, taking 20 wickets in his 10 matches, including a memorable hat trick against the Sydney Thunder and five wickets against the Hobart Hurricanes in Moe.
Uncapped by Pakistan at the beginning of last season, Rauf was called into the national side in January and made his debut in a T20 International against Bangladesh.
He has since played 8 T20 Internationals and 2 One Day Internationals after being called up for national duties.
Rauf said he was excited about returning to the Stars.
“I’m very happy that I can come back to the Melbourne Stars this season and play at the MCG again,” Rauf said.
“It was an unbelievable journey last season and changed my life in so many ways. The Stars fans were very supportive of me and I can’t wait to play in front of them again. The support of all the Pakistan community in Melbourne was fantastic and hopefully we can put in some big performances this season.”
Melbourne Stars Head Coach David Hussey welcomed Rauf’s return.
“Haris was one the best stories of last season and made an incredible contribution for us. His energy was fantastic for the team and we’re really pleased to have him coming back. Haris gives us another dimension and threat in our bowling attack with his raw pace,” Hussey said.
Melbourne Stars General Manager Nick Cummins said Rauf’s availability was a welcome bonus.
“Initially we understood Pakistan commitments would rule Haris out of this year’s tournament. In the last week we were advised there was an opportunity for Haris to join us again. With his outstanding performances last year and great connection with our fans, we moved pretty quickly to make it happen,” Cummins said.
Rauf is expected to arrive in early January and be available until the start of February.