Perth Scorchers have roped in South African veteran batter Faf du Plessis as a replacement for England batter Laurie Evans for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL).
However, due to prior T20 commitments, Du Plessis is expected to be available only for the first seven games. Earlier, he was ignored in the BBL draft in August due to the fact he was only available for half the tournament.
Laurie Evans’ contract with Scorchers was ripped following his positive anti-doping test. He was adjudged the player of the match in the final of the last edition of the Big Bash League against Sydney Sixers.
As for Faf du Plessis, after playing the first seven matches of the tournament, he will leave to join Joburg Super Kings in South Africa’s new domestic T20 league. The four-time champions will be allowed to sign a replacement for the second half of the season following his departure.
Delighted to join the defending champions, Perth Scorchers ahead of the BBL 2023 season, here’s what du Plessis said:
“The first thing that jumps to mind is that Perth are four-time champions, which is very impressive. Any player who plays around the world wants to win competitions, so it’s a great franchise to be part of,” du Plessis said.
“I think it’s important to learn from other people and organisations and find out why they’re successful. I’m also excited to share my experiences and the things I’ve learned and hopefully, that can be a great combination. It looks like (Perth Stadium) is probably the quickest wicket in the world.
“Watching the (T20) World Cup, the bounce looked very, very steep. The wickets in South Africa and Australia are quite similar with more pace and bounce than spin, so it is something I’ve grown up with and I’m looking forward to playing in Perth this summer.”
Du Plessis hasn’t played a T20I for South Africa since December 2020 but has been in pretty good form in the shortest format of the game. In 2022, the right-hander has slammed 1229 runs in 44 T20s at an average of 31.51 and a strike rate of 139.2 and could form a formidable opening partnership with England’s Phil Salt.
Kade Harvey, WA Cricket General Manager High Performance also opened up on the last-minute signing:
“His record in T20 cricket speaks for itself. He can play in all conditions, bat anywhere in the top six, and has proven himself at the highest level for more than a decade,” said Kade Harvey, WA Cricket General Manager of High Performance.
“Faf has been outstanding when playing for the Proteas in Australia, and he’s no stranger to the sort of pace and bounce that (Perth) Stadium offers. We believe his versatility, experience and leadership will be really valuable to our squad, and we can’t wait to get him around the group.”
Perth Scorchers BBL 12 squad
Ashton Turner (C), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Faf du Plessis (South Africa), Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Tymal Mills (England), Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Phil Salt (England), Andrew Tye