Tymal Mills, who starred for England in the recent T20 World Cup before succumbing to injury, has committed to Perth Scorchers for the upcoming BBL, in a late signing coup for last season's runner-up.
Mills, the left-arm quick, replaces compatriot Brydon Carse, who was ruled out of the tournament following a knee injury sustained last month less than 24 hours after the quick signed with Scorchers. Mills adds serious punch to the Scorchers' fast bowling stocks headed by stalwarts Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye.
He helps offset the expected lengthy absence of in-form Jhye Richardson, who is likely to be tied up with Ashes duties. Mills arrives in Sydney on Monday after playing in the Abu Dhabi T10, meaning he will miss the Scorchers' opening two matches due to quarantine rules.
"When they got in touch, I was extremely keen," Mills said. "They're a great franchise with some great players. It's exciting to get the opportunity to play in big competitions."
Mills, who has battled a back condition throughout his career, was a key part of England's strong start to the T20 World Cup with figures of 2 for 17 against West Indies and 3 for 27 against Bangladesh. His pace, left-arm angle and ability to bowl through the middle and at the death helped him balance England's attack until Mills' campaign cruelly ended when he suffered a right thigh strain against Sri Lanka.
It was a similar injury to the one he sustained in 2018, which also ruled him out of the rest of that English season. Mills finished the T20 World Cup with seven wickets at 15.42 in his four matches, at an economy-rate of 8.00, and his absence was particularly felt in the semi-final against New Zealand, where England were unable to contain the rampaging batters at the death.
Scorchers also announced the signings of emerging players Nick Hobson and Cooper Connolly, while quick David Moody - the nephew of ex-Australia player and renowned coach Tom Moody - has been confirmed as Richardson's replacement.
Left-handed batter Hobson played for Scorchers in BBL08 and gave his selection chances a timely boost with a sparkling 90 from 59 balls during the team's practice match at the WACA on Wednesday.
Scorchers start their season against Brisbane Heat on December 8 at Optus Stadium, where they currently only have two fixtures confirmed due to Western Australia's strict border controls.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth