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Missing Christmas made up Ben Dunk’s mind over leaving Melbourne Stars

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Dunk has not ruled out returning to the BBL but may prioritise overseas competitions to fit around family life

Ben Dunk has pinpointed Christmas Day as the moment when he realised that he wanted to terminate his contract with Melbourne Stars after three-and-a-half seasons at the club.

Dunk signed a five-year deal with the Stars ahead of the 2017-18 Big Bash having led the tournament’s run charts the previous season, but performed a long way below expectations during his time at the club. In 39 innings for the Stars across four seasons, he made 621 runs at an average of 16.34 and a strike rate of 115.34, regularly moving up and down the order as they desperately tried to help him replicate the form he had shown in the Pakistan Super League and the Mzansi Super League.

This season, he made 69 runs in six matches – including two as an X-factor sub – and after spending Christmas away from his family in the tournament’s hub on the Gold Coast, Dunk and the Stars came to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract midway through the season.

The termination allowed him to fly to the UAE to take up his contract with the Qalandars in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. He finished his quarantine period at the start of the week, and trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Tuesday night ahead of their first fixture on Friday.

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