Perth Scorchers have signed New South Wales batsman Kurtis Patterson for the next three Big Bash League seasons.
Patterson, the 26-year-old who has played two Tests for Australia, is headed west after six seasons with the Sydney Thunder, where he managed just 25 games. He started his BBL career at the Sydney Sixers, playing one game in the second season.
"I am really excited to be heading to the west and joining a successful club," Patterson said. "The opportunity to gain different insights from new coaches and playing on the fast wicket at Optus (Perth) Stadium were both big factors in deciding to sign with the Scorchers. I know the club has a great culture and I can't wait to be a part of the team."
Patterson did not play a single game in the BBL last season despite being in the best form of his first-class career, which led to his Test debut against Sri Lanka in Brisbane and his maiden Test century in Canberra. He was not selected for the Ashes tour after a lean run on the Australia A tour of England.
The left-hander's record in the shorter formats do not match his respectable first-class record. He hasn't scored a T20 half-century in 24 innings, averaging just 19.21 with a strike rate of 109.40.
The Scorchers were eager to rebuild their top order following the exits of Shaun Marsh, Michael Klinger and Hilton Cartwright. Klinger has retired while Marsh has signed a three-year deal with the Melbourne Renegades and Cartwright has joined the Melbourne Stars on a multi-year deal.
The Scorchers, meanwhile, missed out on securing Western Australia batsman Josh Philippe, who recommitted long-term to the Sixers following his success last year.
Patterson did score two Sheffield Shield hundreds against Western Australia last season, including one on a difficult batting pitch at Perth Stadium. WA and Scorchers coach Adam Voges said Patterson's prowess on the fast bouncy surface was a key reason for him being recruited.
"We have seen first-hand how talented Kurtis is, he's scored a lot of runs against us in all formats over the past few seasons," Voges said. "After losing some experience at the top of the order we identified that as an area to bolster. Kurtis is a quality player and I believe he will play the Optus Stadium wicket really well with its extra pace and bounce."
Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne