The Melbourne Renegades has today sealed its international line-up with the signing of Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and English powerhouse Jos Buttler.
Hafeez, the world’s highest-ranked all-rounder in One Day Internationals and the number two all-rounder in T20Is (behind only Shane Watson), will be available to take his place in the Renegades squad from the club’s first home game on Monday 30 December.
Buttler, a hard-hitting middle-order batsman in the England ODI and T20I set-up, has a strike rate of 148.95 in the shortest form of the game and will provide added clout to the Renegades’ batting order.
He was ultra-impressive in taking Australia for 75, 65* and 42 across three innings in England’s September ODI series, and will be available for selection in the Renegades squad from the opening derby of Friday 20 December.
“I’m really looking forward to being on the same team as Aaron Finch, having been on the receiving end of his blitz in the T20I at the Rose Bowl this year,” Buttler said.
“Hopefully he can do that again and I can watch from the other end this time.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to join the strong and competitive Renegades squad and I look forward to being a part of a very successful campaign for the team.”
Renegades Coach Simon Helmot said Buttler was the perfect T20 middle-order batsman who could score at a good clip with his savage attack on the opposition.
“Two things you’ll notice about Jos are his clean striking of the ball and the amount of brute force behind his strokes,” he said.
“It’s a real treat to see him on song and hear the sound of the ball thumping off his bat – hopefully he gets going for our members Etihad Stadium this summer.”
Helmot said Hafeez was a flexible player who provided the club options with both bat and ball.
“Hafeez will fill a similar kind of top order batting and spin bowling role as Marlon Samuels did in BBL|02,” Helmot said.
“He’s a vastly experienced cricketer and current captain of the Pakistan T20I side, so his addition certainly adds to the leadership resources within the squad.
“Hafeez may not be the most recognisable cricketer to Australian supporters right now, but I’m sure that will change in a big way after BBL|03.”
Hafeez’s off-spin and top order batting will be a boon for the Renegades. While little-known in Australia, Hafeez is among the best short-form players in the game and became only the third cricketer to score 1000-plus runs and take 30 or more wickets in ODIs in a calendar year (2011). This puts him in the company of Sanath Jayasuriya and Jacques Kallis.
Hafeez is also rated as the world’s number three T20I bowler in the ICC Reliance Rankings.
Buttler and Hafeez join Muthiah Muralidaran as international players on the Renegades list for BBL|03.
Muralidaran will play the entire season, while Buttler will play the opening fixtures before being replaced by Hafeez.
One position remains in the Melbourne Renegades squad for BBL|03, which must be filled by Friday 6 December.
Melbourne Renegades BBL|03 Squad: Aaron Finch (c), Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Tom Cooper, Alex Doolan, Matthew Gale, Mohammad Hafeez, Daniel Harris, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Solomon Mire (community rookie), Muthiah Muralidaran, Peter Nevill, Aaron O’Brien, James Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Rohrer, Will Sheridan, Matthew Short (development rookie), Peter Siddle.