Jonny Bairstow unavailable for Melbourne Stars in Big Bash ahead of England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka

England’s Jonny Bairstow has withdrawn from the Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash League campaign, the franchise has confirmed.

Bairstow, who blasted a brilliant 86 off 48 balls in England’s first T20 win over South Africa last week, was due to make his Big Bash tournament debut after Christmas. West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher will now take his place.

“We’re naturally disappointed Jonny won’t be able to link up with us this season but we wish him well on his recall and England’s winter tours,” Stars coach David Hussey said.

“We’re glad Andre was in a position to join us and he’ll bring plenty of power and entertainment at the top of the batting order. Andre is a former T20 World Cup winner with the West Indies so he knows what it takes to succeed in major tournaments and I’m confident he’ll be a great asset around our group.”

Bairstow is now expected to be called up for England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka in January, although the dates and squad for that trip have yet to be confirmed.

Bairstow, 31, has not played Test cricket this year but scored a century in England’s last Test in Sri Lanka two years ago.

The 10th edition of the Big Bash League begins on December 10.

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