The Melbourne Renegades have received a big blow on the eve of the KFC Big Bash finals, with news that star international Mohammad Nabi will not be available during the post-season.
Nabi will instead join up with his international teammates in India, after the Afghanistan Cricket Board requested his early release for a series of matches against Ireland.
The star allrounder has scored 228 runs and taken eight wickets for the Renegades this season and head coach Andrew McDonald said his presence will be missed.
“We’re disappointed to lose a player on the eve of the finals series but we understand the rules around international call ups and know there can be some unpredictability around when players are called into camp,” McDonald said.
“Nabi has been a valuable contributor throughout the season and his skills with bat and ball as well as leadership abilities will be missed.
“We are proud of the way we have been able to cover the absence of key players throughout the season and we’re confident in the depth of our squad.
“There is now an exciting opportunity for someone to come into the team and play an important role for us.”
It was originally thought that Nabi would be available for the entire finals campaign, until the Afghanistan Cricket Board sought his release earlier this week.
The Renegades currently sit in third place on the BBL ladder and will play the Sydney Sixers in an elimination final, with the match most likely to be played at the SCG.
It is still possible for the Renegades to host that cut-throat final, but they would need the Melbourne Stars to defeat the Sixers at the MCG on Sunday night and put a big dent in their net run rate in the process.