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Stars get stars knockback

By Kim Hagdorn
14 January 2013 01:42PM EST

CRICKET legend Shane Warne and his Melbourne Stars have copped an early setback in their bid to stay in the hunt to win the exciting Big Bash league.

And Perth have confirmed that recently retired batting specialist Mike Hussey will return to the Scorchers line-up.

But the gifted Stars outfit will not have potential match-winning trio David Hussey, Clint McKay and Glenn Maxwell for their knockout semi-final against Perth at the WACA on Wednesday.

Cricket authorities have ruled out any release for Hussey, McKay and Maxwell with Australian limited-over duties against Sri Lanka in Brisbane on Friday.

The Stars could also have had dashing batsman and specialist wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and Sri Lanka strike bowler Lasith Malinga in their starting line-up if it wasn't for their international commitments.

Wade played his only game for the Stars in the tournament opener at Etihad Stadium against derby rivals Melbourne Renegades back on December 7.

Hussey, 37, made an emotional farewell to international cricket at the end of the Sydney Third Test against Sri Lanka early this month and has returned from a week-long family holiday in his home state Western Australia in time to make a triumphant return to the Scorchers top-order.

He also played in the Perth's first engagement against Adelaide at the WACA on December 9 when he made just four batting at number three.

The champion batsman at all forms of cricket is again expected to bat at number three against Warne's undermanned Stars.

Hussey's resumption as a potential match winner with his home town franchise could force the relegation of another veteran WA and former Test batsman Marcus North.

North, 31, found some much needed batting touch with an unbeaten 39 in the Scorchers comfortable run-chase 1-117 to beat the under-achieving Sydney Thunder on January 4.

The former WA captain has had a relatively lean series with 97 at an average of 32 with two not outs and a strike-rate of 92.

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