The 33-year-old paceman will act as a replacement player for Sandeep Lamichhane while he is on Bangladesh Premier League duties, with Parkinson withdrawing from the tournament after further scans on his stress fracture injury to his back revealed he is not ready to return.
Having made his England debut in 2005, Plunkett has played over 100 games for his country across all three formats including 20 T20 internationals where he has taken 23 wickets including best figures of 3-21.
Plunkett also recently penned a three-year deal with Surrey moving from County Cricket Club Yorkshire.
The Englishman will already be familiar with members of the Stars having played with Glenn Maxwell and Lamichhane for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
Stars List Manager Trent Woodhill acknowledged the Stars’ disappointment to lose Parkinson but also noted the experience Plunkett will bring to the squad.
“It’s obviously disappointing for Matt that he won’t be able to partake in what would have been his first Big Bash season. We’d like to wish Matt a very speedy recovery,” Woodhill said.
“However, this circumstance provides us with opportunity and in Plunkett we have an experienced and successful white ball bowler who has excelled for England and Yorkshire.
“We’re excited about the role he will play for us.
The Stars will face the Sydney Thunder in Canberra for their season opener while their first home match will be the New Year’s Day Derby at the MCG.Melbourne Stars Squad
Michael Beer, Jackson Bird, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe, Dwayne Bravo, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Liam Plunkett (*international replacement), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa