The Melbourne Stars’ BBL title hopes have taken another hit with Andre Fletcher confirming he will leave this weekend to play in the UAE.
Fletcher has been declared fit for Wednesday night’s Melbourne derby against the Renegades after scans cleared him of a fracture.
But it will be his penultimate game for the club this season.
The West Indian signed a deal to play in a UAE T10 competition before joining the Stars, but on the weekend revealed he was considering pushing that back.
But he confirmed he would be leaving and would miss the Stars’ last-round match against the Sydney Sixers and any finals games.
“It would be great for us to win these two games to leave on a high,” Fletcher said.
“I would love to be back, fingers crossed.
“Hopefully my team can win the finals and lift the cup.”
Fletcher has struggled for runs this season but showed how dangerous he can be with an unbeaten 89 against the Adelaide Strikers last Friday.
He has also been a real asset in the field, taking several spectacular catches on the boundary.
It’s the latest in a long list of overseas blows for the Stars.
They initially planned to have Jonny Bairstow and David Miller in their squad, but that fell through during COVID-19 and Bairstow’s Test call-up.
That prompted the Stars to sign Nicholas Pooran for a brief stint as well as Fletcher, with both already in New Zealand and not needing to quarantine.
Pooran has since left to play for the West Indies after six games.
Pakistani Dilbar Hussain also showed promise before injuring his hamstring in the second game, ruling him out of the tournament.
That prompted the Stars to fly in Haris Rauf but he also lasted just three games before being a shock call-up to Pakistan’s Test squad.
The Stars are unlikely to call in a replacement player for Fletcher, with no imports available due to quarantine requirements.