Sri Lankan off-spin great Muttiah Muralitharan is set to play against his old time rival Australian Shane Warne in the forthcoming season of the Big Bash as he confirmed that he will be representing Melbourne Renegades in the Twenty20 league.
While Warne is expected to be part of the Melbourne Stars again, it will be Muralitharan's first tryst with the Australian domestic cricket after he signed for Victoria in the Big Bash in 2009.
The retired Sri Lankan was, however, forced to withdraw his name from the Big Bash at that time after the dates of the tournament clashed with Sri Lanka's international schedule.
"Murali's signing is sensational news for the Melbourne Renegades, our supporters and cricket lovers all over the world, who have the opportunity to see one of the game's greats plying his trade at Etihad Stadium during the Australian summer," Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry said.
"It sets up a mouth-watering Melbourne derby between Murali and the leggie from across the way when they reignite one of cricket's great rivalries in the BBL-02 season curtain raiser," he said, referring to the likely contest between Mauralitharan and Warne.
Last season, the 40-year-old Sri Lankan played for Wellington in New Zealand's domestic T20 competition, but this year the off-spinner has decided to ply his trade in Australia.
"I wanted to play one season in Australia and the opportunity from the Melbourne Renegades was there so I took it with both hands," said Muralitharan, who represented Royal Challengers Bangalore in the fifth edition of the Indian Premiere League earlier this year.
"Last year I watched BBL from New Zealand and it's a good standard of players and a competitive tournament. I think it will be interesting to play against (Chris) Gayle because he's one of the best batsmen in T20 and I played with him at the RCB. I think Shane is a great bowler and I've always admired him. I'll try to do well and he'll try to do well for his team," Muralitharan added.