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Samuels for Big Bash

Marlon Samuels taking his talents to Australia.

Marlon Samuels’ renaissance tale continues.

Samuels, who was integral to West Indies winning the just concluded International Cricket Council’s T20 Championship, has landed another lucrative contract. He will be heading to Australia to be the Melbourne Renegades’ second international player for the upcoming Big Bash League.

The signing is a coup for the Etihad Stadium-based team with the West Indian having been named in the team of the tournament at the recent ICC competition in Sri Lanka.

Samuels, 31, led the West Indies to victory in the final with a match-winning 78 before taking 1-15 with his under-rated off-spinners to be player of the final and finishing third in the total runs tally for the tournament with 230 runs with three fifties at a strike-rate of 132.94.

Since his return to international cricket following a two-year ban Samuels has been the West Indies’ leading batsman, enjoying outstanding Test series in England and at home against New Zealand.

Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry said the Jamaican would likely bat after openers Daniel Harris and captain Aaron Finch.

“Marlon is a hard-hitting, genuine No.3 batsman who is an entertainer in every sense of the word,” Coventry said.

“He seems to fly under the radar when it comes to receiving credit as an all-rounder, but his broad skill-set was one of the main reasons we brought him on board – he’s no one-trick pony.”

The Renegades, who have already signed superstar Sri Lankan spinner Muthiah Muralidaran, had been linked with Kevin Pietersen, but the chase for the controversial batsman’s signature died down after he was welcomed back into the English squad last week.

Samuels will likely be unavailable for the Renegades’ first match, the Melbourne derby against the Stars that opens the BBL on December 7.

He will be the fourth West Indian in the competition with Sunil Narine (Sydney Sixers) and Kemar Roach (Brisbane Heat) already signed and fan favourite Chris Gayle returning for the Sydney Thunder.

The Renegades had a forgettable opening season in the BBL last year, losing five matches and finishing second from bottom.

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