Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has signed a deal to play for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League in Australia.
The 38-year-old Du Plessis was originally set sign as one of the franchise’s 12 marquee players for the BBL, but was overlooked at the draft back in August.
But he now joins the Perth Scorchers as an international replacement after Englishman Laurie Evans tested positive for a banned substance. Evans, who was the Player of the BBL Final last year, faces a ban of up to four years.
The Big Bash, Australia’s premier T20 competition, kicks off on 13 December until 4 February. Du Plessis, however, will only be available for selection in the Perth Scorchers’ first seven matches; before returning to South Africa to fulfil his commitments with Joburg Super Kings in the SA20.
Reflecting on signing with Perth for the Big Bash, Du Plessis said:
“I’m really exciting 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.
“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.
“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.”
A powerful right-hander, du Plessis represented his country 262 times (69 Tests, 143 ODIs, 50 T20Is) and captained the Proteas in 115 games (36 Tests, 39 ODIs, 40 T20Is) during an international career that spanned from 2011-2021.
He is also the most experienced player on Perth’s list, having played 311 professional T20 games and scored 8074 runs (four centuries, 50 half-centuries) at 31.05.
In Australia, du Plessis averaged 83.16 in Tests (499 runs from nine innings) and 52.60 in ODIs (526 runs from 12 innings), while he struck 27 from 15 during his only T20I on Australian soil.
Perth will launch its title defence against the Sydney Sixers in contest themed ‘Home of the Champions’ on Saturday 17 December at Optus Stadium.
Perth Scorchers squad for the Big Bash — 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 (captain), Andrew Tye.
Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis. Image: Gallo Images.