After joining the Stars in BBL|05, Gulbis will be enter his fourth season with 16 games to his name encompassing 282 runs and eight wickets.
Commenting on his re-signing Gulbis said he was looking forward to re-grouping with the team that will include some new faces.
“I’m really excited to be back with the Stars for BBL|08. I think it’s really exciting to have some fresh faces in the team and I know that those of us who have been around for a while are looking forward to welcoming them into the Stars family,” Gulbis said.
“I always enjoy coming home to Melbourne for the summer of Big Bash. There’s a great vibe and excitement to it and I’m particularly looking forward to our New Year’s Day Derby at the MCG.”
After spending two seasons with the Club as a replacement player, spinner Bowe has been elevated to a full contract.
Affectionately known as ‘The Wizard’, Bowe has played six matches with the Stars and has taken six wickets with best figures of 2-30.
Nineteen-year-old Merlo will join the Stars for his first season. The all-rounder, who is currently playing for Victoria in the Toyota Futures league, is a promising young talent who has played four List A matches and represented Australia at the under-19 World Cup.
Stars List Manager Trent Woodhill said he was pleased to have all three on board with the Club this season.
“Evan is a quality all round cricketer. He’s probably our fastest bowler, one of our best fielders and can adapt to any situation with the bat,” Woodhill said.
“We’re also really pleased to have The Wizard back on board. We saw last year that he has the X factor and we think he will develop into a dangerous Big Bash bowler.
“Jono was one of the stars of the under-19 World Cup and we were aware that several other teams were after him. We can see him fighting for a starting position and his game is suited to succeed in the BBL.”
Coinciding with today’s announcement, Gulbis and Bowe will be on the Gold Coast this morning for an exciting joint announcement with Principal Partner, Optus.
The Melbourne Stars will open their BBL|08 campaign against the Sydney Thunder on December 21 and will play their first MCG match on New Year’s Day against the Renegades.
Melbourne Stars list to date
Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Liam Bowe, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Pete Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jonathan Merlo, Matt Parkinson (England, *international replacement), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa