Melbourne: Big Bash League (BBL) side Melbourne Stars announced on Wednesday that West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell will be joining the side for the ongoing season of the league.

Russell, who is contracted to play five matches, will be the fifth overseas signing for Stars in this season after Qais Ahmad, Joe Clarke, Syed Faridoun, and Haris Rauf. The Stars had a forgetful opening match of the season, losing to defending champions Sydney Sixers by 152 runs in Sydney on December 5.

Russell’s first match for the Stars will be against his previous BBL club Sydney Thunder on Friday. “To have someone of Andre’s quality play for the Melbourne Stars is a huge signing for our club. We want our Stars family to watch the best players in action at the MCG and Andre is world class. I can’t wait to work with him in the time that he’s here and look forward to his debut on Friday night,” said head coach David Hussey.

Russell had showcased his all-round skills in the BBL while turning out for Thunder in three seasons from 2014 to 2017. The 33-year-old played 19 matches for Thunder across three seasons, with his last appearance in BBL coming in early January 2017 when he had to be stretchered off the field in a match against the Stars.

Overall, his numbers at the BBL have been 296 runs from 17 innings at a strike rate of 166.29, including 21 sixes. With the ball, he has taken 23 wickets with an economy rate of 7.97.

Russell is currently undergoing his mandatory 72 hours quarantine after landing in Sydney, post a ‘player of the matc’h performance of 90 not out off just 32 balls to propel his team Deccan Gladiators to winning the T10 league title in Abu Dhabi.

Russell was recently retained by Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the 2022 season of the IPL.