Mercurial Australian ODI and T20 all-rounder Glenn Maxwell will take over as captain of the Melbourne Stars for the eighth edition of the BBL.
The 30-year-old replaces fast bowler John Hastings, who held the role last season but had signed with the Sydney Sixers before a rare lung condition forced him into retirement.
Maxwell, who has previously captained Indian Premier League team Kings XI Punjab, has played 37 matches for the Stars, scoring 973 runs, since joining them for BBL02.
“We’re a family and to be able to lead this group and continue to build on an already strong culture is really exciting,” Maxwell said at the franchise’s season launch in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“We’ve got a talented list which includes new signings so it’s going to be important for us to come together this week and get to know each other more both on and off the field.”
Maxwell takes over at a time of great change for the Stars who finished bottom last season, breaking a run of six finals appearances without a maiden tournament win.
Long-serving internationals English batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright, who have scored the second-most and the most runs in the club’s history respectively, have retired.
They have been replaced by West Indies entertainer Dwayne Bravo, who signed from cross-town rivals the Renegades, and Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.
The Stars are also waiting to see how long they will be without new signing Nic Maddinson, who broke his arm playing Sheffield Shield cricket for Victoria and seamer Dan Worrall, who hurt his back playing for SA.
Maxwell is attempting to fight his way back into contention for the Test team having been overlooked for the recent series against Pakistan and the ongoing series against India.
While content to press his claims with the white ball this summer, he has foregone the riches of the IPL next year to play English county cricket with Lancashire ahead of the 2019 Ashes series.
“This is a pretty clear sign I still want to play Test cricket,” Maxwell told the Herald Sun.
“To knock back a chance to play IPL was a big decision, and a tough decision. It’s not something you make lightly, but the thought of playing Test cricket again still burns deep.
“I desperately want to get back out there and I still think I have a lot to offer the Australian Test team.”
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