Rossouw joins countryman Imran Tahir and Afghan Mohammad Nabi as the Melbourne Renegades’ international signings for this season’s BBL.
Melbourne Renegades, who finished bottom in last season’s BBL, have announced the signing of destructive T20 specialist Rilee Rossouw for the upcoming edition of the tournament. The left-handed batsman has excelled in T20 competitions all over the world including the Pakistan Super League and Bangladesh Premier League where he ranks among the top overseas run scorers of all time.
Rosssouw joins Imran Tahir and Mohammad Nabi as the overseas players for the Renegades. Tahir, however, will only be available after Christmas and young Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad will fill in for him till then.
Rossouw scored more than 1500 runs for South Africa between 2014 and 2016, including three ODI hundreds. But in 2017, he signed a Kolpak deal with English county club Hampshire that ended his international career. Now 31, he has played 199 T20 games in leagues across the world.
Earlier this year, Rossouw struck an unbeaten 100 off 44 balls in the PSL and throughout his T20 career he has averaged 30 at a strike rate of 136.
“The Big Bash has been a high-quality competition for a long time now, so I’m very excited to get the opportunity to play in such a competitive league,” Rossouw said.
“I’ve enjoyed playing in Australian conditions before so I’m looking forward to heading over there and helping the Renegades have a successful season. Hopefully towards the back end of the tournament we can play in front of a home crowd in Melbourne because I’ve heard the Renegades have a very passionate supporter base and I’d love to experience that.”
The Melbourne Renegades will be led by Australian Aaron Finch and boast some stellar names in their line-up such as Shaun Marsh and James Pattinson. The team is coached by Michael Klinger, who believes Rossouw is a player “capable of winning a game off his own bat.”
“Part of our strategy has been to target players who are going to be available for the majority of the season and we’ve been able to secure some genuine wicket-takers and now Rilee who is capable of winning a game off his own bat,” Renegades coach Klinger said.
“Rilee has been one of the most dominant batsmen in the world in the T20 game in recent seasons.
“He can bat in the top order but he can also bat in the middle and that’s probably where we’ll look to use him initially, where he’ll give us another left hander, plays the pace bowlers well and he’s a fantastic player of spin.
“He’ll combine well with our other batsmen and to have him available for the whole tournament is really exciting.”
Rossouw and the Melbourne Renegades begin their BBL campaign against Perth Scorchers on December 12 in Hobart.
Renegades squad: Noor Ahmad (AFG), Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch (c), Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, Mohammad Nabi (AFG), James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Rilee Rossouw (RSA), Will Sutherland, Imran Tahir (RSA), Beau Webster.
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