James Faulkner said having two Big Bash League fixtures in Launceston next season was a major factor in his decision to join the Hobart Hurricanes.
The 28-year-old all-rounder was an inaugural member and regular contributor for the Melbourne Stars but his move south means he will now represent his home-state in all three domestic competitions.
“Being from Launceston, the chance of playing two Big Bash games up there is also very appealing to me,” Faulkner said as the Hurricanes announced his three-year contract.
“My family are born and bred Launceston, so I am really looking forward to playing in front of family and friends in my home town.
“I think the state is going from strength to strength, and that was a big part of my decision to come home, play alongside my mates and enjoy all my home domestic cricket formats here.”
The left-arm fast medium bowler and right-hand batter played 47 matches for the Stars, making 556 runs and claiming 45 wickets with the stunning best figures of 4-9.
He has been a member of the Tasmanian Tigers squad since December 2008 and last played against Victoria in November 2017.
“I had always hoped to return to playing all my cricket in Tasmania when the time was right,” Faulkner said.
“I really love the feeling around the team now and I’m impressed by the culture they’ve managed to build.
“I played through Cricket Tasmania’s pathway with blokes like Bails, Dools, Wadey and Tim Paine so I’ve got fantastic memories with those guys and can’t wait to be playing in front of packed local crowds with them.
“I want to thank the Melbourne Stars for everything they’ve done for me over the last seven years. They were very supportive of me when I was playing with Australia and I’ve loved every minute with them.
“I have many friends at the Stars both on and off the field and it was a difficult decision to part ways. But I look at it more along the lines that I am joining the Hurricanes, than I am leaving the Stars.”
Cricket Tasmania chief executive Nick Cummins is excited to sign a player of such high calibre.
“James adds significant value with both bat and ball and his fielding, and will be a very dangerous and competitive addition to our BBL squad – as he is already for our Tigers Sheffield Shield team,” Cummins said.
In nearly 200 matches in the BBL, IPL and at T20 international level, Faulkner has amassed 1724 runs, 63 catches and 212 wickets.
At the domestic level, he averages 22.68 with his aggressive middle to lower order batting (122.55 strike rate) and 24.28 with the ball.
A three-time Ricky Ponting Medallist (for best state player) with man of the match awards from World Cup and Sheffield Shield finals, Faulkner is viewed as an excellent ‘like-for-like’ replacement for departing Hurricanes all-rounder Dan Christian who leaves for the Melbourne Renegades after three seasons in purple.