Curran commits to BBL return in shock club switch

English allrounder commits to Melbourne Stars with full availability for the next two Big Bash seasons

Every wicket: All of prolific Curran's 51 poles with the Sixers

Tom Curran has switched his Big Bash allegiance with the experienced English allrounder lured to Melbourne Stars on a two-year deal.

No stranger to the Big Bash, Curran returns for his fifth season in the competition after a forgettable KFC BBL|13 stint with Sydney Sixers where he was suspended for four matches for intimidating an umpire before his tournament was cut short by a knee injury after four appearances.

The 29-year-old, who has been in fine form for county side Surrey in this year's T20 Blast (14 wickets at 11.14 and 133 runs) in his first matches since the injury, has signed with the Stars for the entirety of the next two seasons plus finals.

The fast-bowling allrounder is the club's first acquisition of the off-season and joins the Stars after four campaigns with the Sixers since BBL|08.

He's just the second men's player to sign under the league's new multi-year contract option for overseas stars after Sam Billings switched from Brisbane Heat to Sydney Thunder on a three-year deal.

Like Billings, Curran would have been one of the overseas players to exit the BBL early last season for the UAE's ILT20 tournament before picking up knee injury coincidentally against the Stars that ruled him out of both competitions.

Curran's 51 wickets in 36 matches for the Sixers is the third most for an overseas bowler in the league's history behind Afghan spinners Rashid Khan (98) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (52).

He revealed his time spent with former Stars skipper Glenn Maxwell as part of the Royal Challengers Bengaluru's squad for IPL 2024 helped convince him to make the switch.

"I was at the IPL with 'Maxi' at the time and I knew Peter Moores was the coach – who I've never worked with but who I've heard great things about," Curran said in an interview provided by the Stars.

Curran trains with RCB during this year's IPL // AFP

"I had a decent idea of which players were part of team having played a fair bit against the Stars over the years.

"After the initial chat it didn't take too long for me to decide to be honest … if there was one other team that I ever wanted to be a part of it would have definitely been the Stars.

"We've had some great battles over the years and I'm really looking forward to getting out to Australia in a few months and playing at the MCG for what will be a great honour to call my home ground."

The Stars will be hoping Curran's previous BBL success helps continue their upwards trajectory, finishing sixth BBL|13 but still failing to qualify for the finals for the fourth straight season.

During that period (BBL|10-BBL|13), their overseas fast-bowling recruits – featuring Trent Boult, Haris Rauf, Andre Russell, Luke Wood, Dilbar Hussain and Ahmed Daniyal – have contributed a combined 53 of 304 wickets at an economy rate of 8.65.

"First and foremost, you want to come in as an overseas player and have an impact to help win games," Curran said.

"It's about using that experience that I've got playing in Australia to help win games for the Melbourne Stars.

"That's the most important (role) realistically and along the way obviously have some good memories.

"I know a fair few of the guys so making those connections and joining the group, I'd like to think it'll be reasonably easy.

"It'll be a joy not having to bowl at Maxwell and (Marcus) Stoinis. If there were two players I'm most looking forward to playing with, for the main reason that I don't have to bowl to them, it'd be Stoinis and Maxwell."

Super Stoinis smashes Sixers in record-breaking BBL ton

Curran, who has 30 international caps for England among his 203 T20 appearances, previously played alongside Stoinis at Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021.

Stoinis, one of Australia's form players at the ongoing men's T20 World Cup, last week confirmed his interested in replacing Maxwell as Stars captain for BBL|14.

"I think we did take good steps forward last year," the allrounder said from the Caribbean.

"The feeling in the group was different. It feels like we're building, it feels like we've got the right coaching staff.

"We've got another couple of signings that we’re really excited about as well."

The Stars also have the first pick in September's overseas player draft.

Melbourne Stars BBL|14 squad (so far): Scott Boland, Hilton Cartwright, Tom Curran (direct overseas signing), Sam Harper, Campbell Kellaway, Glenn Maxwell, Joel Paris, Tom Rogers, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster