The Melbourne Stars have won the race to secure big-hitting allrounder Marcus Stoinis, confirming the Australia limited-overs representative has committed his long-term future to the club.
Stoinis's KFC Big Bash future had been the subject of speculation following his move back to Western Australia for state-based first-class and 50-over cricket, with the Brisbane Heat also actively courting his services.
But the 29-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the Stars to keep him in green until the end of BBL|11 in 2022.
"There's a bit of unfinished business for our club and it's been the right decision for me," Stoinis said today.
"We have a unique group, we're a good family and I love being in Melbourne – I've been there for a long time now.
"I've got so many good mates at the Stars and it's a good time of year, everyone's in the festive spirit, everyone's around family. I'm just excited to get back."
Stoinis is the first player to re-commit to the club following a tumultuous BBL|07 that saw the Stars collect the wooden spoon with just two wins in eight games.
The club bid farewell to import players Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright, while allrounder James Faulkner has returned home to Tasmania to join the Hobart Hurricanes.
They have added Australia T20 batsman Nic Maddinson, who has been playing 50-over cricket with Victoria in the JLT One-Day Cup following his axing by NSW.
Key players Glenn Maxwell and Ben Dunk are also understood to be on long-term deals while leg-spinner Adam Zampa is also contracted to return this summer.
"Even though last year was disappointing, there's still so much you learn from going through that as a team," Stoinis said.
"We're a young group, we're a close group, we're all different in our own right but I think we're really close to something special."
Melbourne are yet to confirm their international players for BBL|08 but have been linked with West Indian Dwayne Bravo in what would be a cross-town switch from the Melbourne Renegades if confirmed.
England spinner Adil Rashid has also been linked with the club, although his return to the country's Test side complicates things with England scheduled for a Caribbean tour early in 2019.
Tickets for the BBL|08 season will go on sale this Thursday, October 4.
Current squad: Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa.
In: Travis Dean (Renegades replacement), Nic Maddinson (Sixers).
Out: James Faulkner (Hurricanes), John Hastings (Sixers), Kevin Pietersen (retired), Rob Quiney (retired), Luke Wright.
Roster spots to fill: seven
Internationals signed: zero