The Melbourne Renegades have been boosted in their push to bounce back from a horror BBL last summer by locking up Test quick James Pattinson.
But a revised summer schedule could yet influence the availability of Pattinson, who returned to Test cricket during the Ashes last year after having spinal surgery in 2017, and others too.
The Victorian firebrand has been in “brilliant” form in the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians after a late call-up to replace Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga, taking nine wickets in seven games.
It’s likely, however, that national selectors will pick an extended Test squad for the four-match series against India, with the final match not likely to begin until January 7 in Sydney.
Changes in current quarantine restrictions would be needed for players to move in and out of bubbles and Pattinson might not be available until the final stages of this year’s tournament.
But the 30-year-old, who played five seasons with the Renegades before moving to the Brisbane Heat, was happy to come “home”.
“I loved my time at the Renegades and I’m thrilled to be heading back to the club,” Pattinson said after signing a three-year deal.
“With a young family it’ll be nice to base ourselves at home in Melbourne all year round, although this season might look a little different.
“I’m looking forward to forming a strong combination with the other bowlers and playing in front of the passionate Renegades fans at some point.”
James Pattinson happily took on Kevin Pietersen when they ran in to each other. Picture:Wayne LudbeySource:News Corp Australia
The Renegades won the BBL title in 2019/20, but finished last under new coach Michael Klinger last season.
They have lost star all-rounder Dan Christian to the Sixers but Klinger said it was a bonus to get Pattinson back to the club.
“At the top of his game, ‘Patto’ is one of the most destructive fast bowlers in the game and he gives us that wicket-taking threat in the powerplay,” Klinger said.
“His current form in the IPL has been brilliant and he’s shown he’s adaptable to bowl in all phases of the innings.
“We’re looking forward to having his aggression and positive attitude in our group and hopefully provide a platform for ‘Patto’ to break back into the Australian white ball set up.
“This season, the extent of his availability will depend on the make-up of the Test squad but we know he should at a minimum be available for the back end of the tournament and finals.
“Alongside Kane Richardson, ‘Patto’ provides us with another world class fast bowler.”
The Renegades will continue to make additions to the squad before the start of the BBL, which was scheduled for early December, but could be pushed back.
Welcome back Patto!#GETONRED
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