The South African allrounder Albie Morkel has been named as the second overseas signing for the Perth Scorchers, who have become the first Big Bash League side to complete their squad for 2012-13. The Scorchers also gained the Perth-based batsman Adam Voges, who had played for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL last year, and the wicketkeeper Tom Triffitt, who has relocated from Tasmania to Western Australia.
Teams have until this Friday to name at least 14 of their 18 players, and the full lists need to be confirmed by the end of November. But the Scorchers have already locked in their complete 18-man list, which will be captained by Marcus North and will feature Morkel and Herschelle Gibbs as the two overseas players.
"Obviously this list could change due to injuries, but it is very nice to have settled on the initial line-up," Lachlan Stevens, the Scorchers coach, said. "We can now focus on having the squad ready to go in December rather than having to fill places towards the back end, and we felt that was the way to go this season.
"We are excited that Albie Morkel continues the South African connection with the Scorchers. Even though he may miss a couple of games due to his commitments with the Proteas, we have no doubt he will be a match-winner in the ones where he is available. Albie is an extremely dangerous middle-order batsman who can change the course of a game in one or two overs, while he also gives us another seam bowling option and will be handy on all surfaces around the country."
In other signings on Tuesday, the Melbourne Stars announced they would again have the services of the England allrounder Luke Wright, who scored 236 runs at 39.33 for them last season. The Stars also re-signed Cameron White, David Hussey, Matthew Wade, Rob Quiney and Peter Handscomb, but although White has committed to a three-year deal he has quit the captaincy.
"I enjoyed my time in the IPL and over in England [in county cricket] just playing," White told reporters on Tuesday. "That was probably the determining factor in maybe it might be a good thing to just come out and enjoy playing at the MCG with the Stars without the extra pressures of captaincy. Hopefully that helps me get back to the Australian teams where I think I belong."
White's decision to step down from the leadership has opened the door for Shane Warne to captain the Stars, which is believed to be a strong possibility although his participation in the tournament this year is yet to be confirmed.
In other moves on Tuesday, the Adelaide Strikers' raid on the Melbourne-based sides has continued with the signing of the spinner Jon Holland, who last year was part of the Stars squad. Holland joins Andrew McDonald and Shaun Tait in moving to the Strikers from Melbourne teams, after they switched from the Renegades. The offspinner Nathan Lyon has also re-signed with the Strikers.
The Sydney Thunder have attracted the batsmen Mark Cosgrove and Rhett Lockyear from the Hobart Hurricanes, while the young batsmen Chris Lynn and Joe Burns have signed on with the Brisbane Heat. The Hurricanes re-signed Xavier Doherty and the batsman Jon Wells, while the Melbourne Renegades named Will Sheridan, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Meyrick Buchanan and James Muirhead in their squad.
The squads so far
Adelaide Strikers Jon Holland, Phillip Hughes, Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Andrew McDonald, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson, Shaun Tait. Overseas players: Johan Botha (capt).
Brisbane Heat Joe Burns, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, Chris Lynn, Alister McDermott, Luke Pomersbach. Overseas players: Daniel Vettori.
Hobart Hurricanes George Bailey, Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Xavier Doherty, Ben Dunk, Michael Hogan, Jason Krejza, Ben Laughlin, Tim Paine, Jon Wells. Overseas players: Owais Shah.
Melbourne Renegades Meyrick Buchanan, Aaron Finch, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, James Muirhead, Nathan Rimmington, Will Sheridan. Overseas players: Muttiah Muralitharan.
Melbourne Stars Peter Handscomb, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Rob Quiney, Matthew Wade, Cameron White. Overseas players: Luke Wright.
Perth Scorchers (complete) Ashton Agar, Tim Armstrong, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Ben Edmondson, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Marcus North (capt), Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges. Overseas players: Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel.
Sydney Sixers No signings yet.
Sydney Thunder Sean Abbott, Mark Cosgrove, Adam Coyte, Scott Coyte, Luke Doran, Rhett Lockyear, Gurinder Sandhu.