Melbourne Stars' top draft pick Brook pulls out of BBL

The Melbourne Stars have been rocked after England star Harry Brook pulled out of his deal to play Big Bash this summer

For a second successive summer, one of the KFC BBL's top draft picks has withdrawn from the tournament early, with the Melbourne Stars confirming Harry Brook will not feature this season.

Selected second (after the Stars tried to poach Rashid Khan with their first pick, triggering the Adelaide Strikers to use their retention pick), Brook was set to join the Stars for seven games after the completion of the England tour of the West Indies in December.

Brook, who was part of England's dismal 50-over World Cup campaign in India, was due to miss the opening three games with the West Indies tour. The Stars confirmed they had already signed an undisclosed international as a replacement player for that period.

"Currently the coaching staff and list management team are discussing options for the remainder of the tournament and we look forward to announcing those signings once they have been finalised," Stars general manager Blair Crouch said in a statement.

"Naturally we're disappointed that Harry has withdrawn from the BBL but we understand his decision with his increased workload.

"We obviously rate Harry extremely highly and we would have loved to have seen him at the MCG alongside Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis this summer.

"We wish him all the best with his upcoming international commitments."

Brook's withdrawal comes exactly three weeks before the BBL|13 season opener between the Stars and Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

Last summer's No.1 draft pick, fellow Englishman Liam Livingstone, also pulled out last November citing international commitments after he was a surprise inclusion in England's Test team, leaving the Melbourne Renegades scrambling to replace him on the eve of the season.

That followed Sydney Thunder David Willey pulling out of the tournament a month before it started for an unspecified reason.

The BBL this season increased the amount paid for Platinum level draft picks to $420,000, up from $340,000 last year.

Brook cited his international workload, and was the only English player to feature in the World Cup who had a BBL deal from the Draft, but not the only one involved in the West Indies tour.

The Sydney Sixers picked England spinner Rehan Ahmed with pick No.30 at the bronze level and he has been selected in England's ODI and T20 squads for the Caribbean tour. He is expected to miss the first three games and be available only for the regular season before linking up with England's Test squad for their India tour.

Perth pick Zak Crawley, taken at No.16, is included in England's ODI squad for the Windies tour, but not the T20s, so should miss one less game than Ahmed and could play up to nine regular season games for the Hurricanes.

Hobart picks Chris Jordan and Sam Hain and Sixers recruit Tom Curran have no international commitments, but all are headed to the ILT20 in the UAE and will miss the finals series.

Melbourne Stars BBL|13 squad: Scott Boland, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Harper, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Usama Mir (PAK), Joel Paris, Haris Rauf (PAK), Tom Rogers, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster

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