The Perth Scorchers have signed South African superstar Faf Du Plessis as a replacement import for the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season. Due to prior T20 commitments, Du Plessis is expected to be available for the first seven games of the tournament, starting with the contest against the Sydney Sixers at Optus Stadium on December 17.
The former Proteas captain replaces English batter and last season’s BBL Grand Final star Laurie Evans, who left the Scorchers following a positive doping test. Despite being one of 12 marquee players, du Plessis was overlooked in August’s inaugural overseas player draft.
Du Plessis joins West Indian superstar Andre Russell and New Zealand opener Martin Guptill as the third big-name international recruit to be given a second chance for BBL12 after not being selected in the draft.
The 38-year-old enters the Big Bash this summer after a stellar 2022 in T20 cricket, where he was the world’s 13th-most prolific batsman with 1229 runs at 31.51. He scored 468 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore at 31.20 and 332 runs for St Lucia Kings at 41.50 in the Caribbean Premier League.
It’s A Great Franchise To Be Part Of – Faf Du Plessis
The Scorchers are the defending champions, having won a record fourth title last summer, and the South African batter said that he would use his stint with the franchise to find out what made them successful.
“I’m really excited to be signing with Perth Scorchers. I think 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’m also keen to come in and learn. 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,” he added.
“Looking from afar, it looks like Optus is probably the quickest wicket in the world. Watching the World Cup, the bounce looked very, very steep. Obviously 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.”
During his international career, the 38-year-old represented South Africa in 69 Tests, 143 ODIs, and 50 T20Is and captained 36 Tests, 39 ODIs, and 40 T20Is. With 311 T20 appearances, he will be the most experienced player on the Scorchers’ squad.
Perth Scorchers BBL 12 squad
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), Ashton Turner (c), Andrew Tye