Stars’ rebuild begins with ‘KP’ replacement
MELBOURNE Stars have found their Kevin Pietersen replacement.
The Stars have lured the former Test batsman Nic Maddinson on a three-year contract in the first move of what shapes as an aggressive rebuild for the Big Bash League wooden-spooner.
Stars chief executive Clint Cooper said Maddinson, 26, was the No.1 batting target and the franchise is now understood to be chasing a mystery spinner, a lethal fast bowler and a world-class all-rounder.
"I've been at the Sixers for seven seasons now, so when this (offer) came through I looked at it as a new challenge," Maddinson told the Herald Sun.
"I was pretty happy and settled in Sydney. My decision to go to the Stars was based on the fact that I think they can help develop me into a better cricketer. It's got nothing to do with money - I can honestly say that."
Maddinson - who kept his moustache after feedback from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull - has recently been dropped from New South Wales.
He is out of contract but said he was "very keen" to continue playing first-class cricket at home.
The left-hander smashed 291 runs for the Sixers this summer and posted two half-centuries - both against the Stars.
The No.3 batsman blasted the MCG's second highest score of the BBL summer, whacking 11 boundaries in his 62 (31) to show he can clear the ropes at his new home ground.
Maddinson was excited about reuniting with childhood friend Adam Zampa and Stars list boss Trent Woodhill.
"Trent Woodhill was a mentor of mine coming through the junior system in Sydney," Maddinson said.
"I've known him since I was 15, he was the first batting coach I ever had. He was the first one that changed me from being an under-15 country batsman into someone that was good enough to play first-class cricket.
"It happens in golf all the time - they end up going back to coaches they've had years before and it all seems to click again. He knows my game really well."
Maddinson and Zampa played against each other when they were 10 and the new recruit said next season would be a throwback to their under-12 Warilla days.
"If I look at my career in general, but especially Twenty20, it's been fairly inconsistent," Maddinson said.
"So the positive for me this year was being able to get to 25 and get to 30 in most games. That was a positive for me, to actually get a start."
Maddinson sported a moustache this summer, which was recently saved by Turnbull.
"I was going to shave it off until I got down to the PM's game and the Prime Minister said that he admired it," he said.
"That and my blond locks he was pretty happy with, so I thought I'd hang onto it a bit longer."
TAKE A MO ...
Nic Maddinson's BBL career
Games: 61 (No.1 at Sixers)
Runs: 1408 (No.1 at Sixers)
Highest score: 85 (No.1 at Sixers)