South African great Faf du Plessis will return to the Big Bash this summer, signing a short-term deal with the Perth Scorchers as an overseas replacement player.
The 38-year-old is one of the Proteas best players of the modern era, amassing over 11,000 runs for his country across all three formats.
Du Plessis will be available for the first seven matches of BBL|12, and will replace English import Laurie Evans, who had his contract terminated after a positive anti-doping test.
“I’m really exciting to be signing with Perth Scorchers,” du Plessis said.
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“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.”
Du Plessis had plenty of success Down Under during his glittering international career, averaging 83.16 in Test matches and 52.6 in ODIs for South Africa.
His return to the Big Bash comes after being overlooked during the inaugural BBL Draft earlier this year, with the results now rendered meaningless as the likes of Liam Livingstone and David Willey have since withdrawn from the competition.
Du Plessis has played just one game in the BBL during his career, scoring 14 in a one-off appearance for the Renegades back in the 2012/13 season.
Due to a busy Australian schedule, du Plessis is unlikely to face off against Thunder star David Warner during the tournament, which would have made for interesting viewing following the Proteas legend’s recent comments.
Perth will begin their BBL campaign in a grand final rematch against the Sydney Sixers on December 17th.