Pooran signs up for Big Bash League in Australia

West Indies' batsman Nicholas Pooran plays a shot as Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kusal Perera watches during the second one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Sooriyawewa, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Associated Press/Eranga Jayawardena, file

Hard-hitting middle-order/wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran has signed up with the Melbourne Stars for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) 2020 tournament in Australia.

Pooran will represent the franchise for six matches in the tournament, replacing Englishman Johnny Bairstow who is unavailable for the early stages of the tournament, which will be held from Dec. 10 to Feb. 6, 2021.

West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran raises his bat to celebrate scoring 50 runs during the third and final one-day international cricket match of the series between India and West Indies in Cuttack, India, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Associated Press/Mahesh Kumar A., file

Pooran will join the Stars after the West Indies three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand from Nov. 20 to 30.

He is also expected to miss the start of the tournament because after the completion of the West Indies T20 series the left-hander will remain with the regional team to play two first class matches.

Pooran has been in good form of late ending the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) with 353 runs at an average of 35.30 and a healthy strike rate of 169.71 for Kings XI Punjab.

Pooran is not required to quarantine for 14 days because he will be part of the Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble.

The New Zealand and Australia governments have made arrangements for people to travel between the two countries with little hassle.

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