Australian news June 30, 2011

New South Wales captain Katich signs with Perth

ESPNcricinfo staff

Simon Katich has become the first player to sign up with a Big Bash League team outside his current state after it was confirmed he would join the Perth Scorchers this summer. Katich is the captain of New South Wales but chose not to play with one of the two Sydney-based Twenty20 sides, and instead will return to his home city for the tournament, a decade after moving from Perth.

In the longer format, Katich is hoping to make plenty of runs for the Blues and show Australia's selectors what they are missing from the Test side after his dumping from the national squad this month. In the shorter version, he will be joined in Perth by the Western Australian trio of Marcus North, Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach.

The three batsmen have signed with the Scorchers, while Michael Hussey has also agreed in principle to playing with the Perth side subject to his availability. The deals were overshadowed on the first day of the Big Bash League contract window by the news that Chris Gayle and David Warner would unite at the Sydney Thunder, but the Scorchers coach Mickey Arthur said he was comfortable with the way his side was shaping up.

"This is the first of our exciting player announcements and we look forward to making a few more in the coming days," Arthur said. "Securing Shaun Marsh was a high priority given he is one of the hottest T20 prospects in Australia and a Perth born and raised star. We could not see him wearing anything else but the orange.

"Simon Katich and Marcus North give us tremendous experience, leadership and hardness. I am thrilled to have both of them on board, and look forward to welcoming Simon back to his city of birth to represent the Scorchers. Luke Pomersbach is another whose record speaks for itself. As one of the most dangerous batsmen in T20 cricket and another of our local stars it is great news to have him committed to the Scorchers."