Former Staffordshire spinner earns Australian contract

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Matthew Parkinson is heading to Australia to play for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash Twenty20 competition.

Parkinson, who turned 22 two days ago, has seen his fine displays for Lancashire rewarded with a contract for the tournament starting in December.

The right-hander formerly represented Staffordshire Unicorns and was a part of their Championship winning-side in 2014, a feat they haven’t repeated since.

On the exciting move abroad, Parkinson, preferably a bowler, told Lancashire’s website: “I am hugely excited to have signed for the Melbourne Stars.

“It’s one of the biggest T20 competitions in the world and I can’t wait to get over there and meet the rest of the squad.

“It’s a competition I have watched and admired for a long time and one that I’ve always wanted to play in. To have the chance to play for the Stars at the Melbourne Cricket Ground would be a dream come true.”

On his first Lancashire appearance in 2016, ‘Parky’ became only the second English leg-spinner to take five wickets on his debut since 1946 and has been honoured with the club’s young player of the year award.

After breaking into Lancashire’s first team and enjoying a fruitful campaign last term including claiming 39 wickets, the former England Under-19 player still believes there is room for improvement:

“Whilst I’ve been really pleased with my T20 form over the last couple of years, I still have a lot to learn with the white ball and this will be another fantastic opportunity for me to develop my game, learn from some of the best players in the world and challenge myself in front of some really big crowds.”

The Big Bash league is the Australian format of the traditional Twenty20 cricket league, which only began in 2011 and features eight teams.

Parkinson will enjoy his first taste of action for the Stars in January where he will replace the outgoing Sandeep Lamichhane, who is departing for the Bangladesh Premier League.

However, Lamichhane will return in time for the finals and, if they feature, the team will have to make a choice of which two spinners to include.

Melbourne Stars’ first match will be away to Sydney Thunder on 21st December.

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