A sense of “unfinished business” and a desire to lead the Perth Scorchers to KFC T20 Big Bash League glory has kept Simon Katich in the west for a third season. Michael Beer, the Scorchers’ most economical bowler last season, also returns and will be joined by former Under-19 Australian international Ashton Turner and aggressive opening batsman Liam Davis.
The signings leave six spots available on the Scorchers list, including the two for overseas players.
Katich, who played 56 Tests for Australia at an average of 45 runs before retiring from international cricket last year, has represented the Scorchers in the opening seasons of the BBL playing 19 matches and captaining the side last season to its second consecutive BIG FINAL. The 37-year-old averaged over 27 with a highest score of 66.
Katich’s is averaging over 70 for Lancashire this English summer and fast approaching the 1,000-mark after a recent double-century for Lancashire. Katich said, “I wanted to play another season with the Scorchers as I feel we still have unfinished business.”
“We have been very consistent in the first few seasons but unfortunately we were outplayed on the day in both finals.
“The hurt of missing those opportunities will only keep us hungry and more determined to work harder this year to put us in contention again.
“I really enjoyed leading the Scorchers and working closely with Justin Langer and our coaching/support staff to help us try and be successful.
“Although we didn’t quite achieve our goal last summer I was very proud of the efforts and work ethic that everyone displayed and know we will be hungry to go one better this summer.”
The Perth Scorchers identified Beer as a crucial member of the squad from BBL|02 and retained the left-arm orthodox spinner for a third consecutive season amidst avid interest from other franchises. The twice-capped Test player took 10 wickets across his 10 matches for the Scorchers last season at an average of a little more than 21 runs, with best figures of 2-14.
“I really admire Michael Beer,” said Langer. “He was chased by a number of other franchises and he was offered some excellent deals.”
“He decided to stay here, so I love that loyalty and he’s obviously seen something positive here,” he added.
Turner is set to take the unorthodox step of making his first-class debut for country before state, after he was selected for Australia’s tour match against Sussex, starting tomorrow. The 20-year-old was snared off the back of a swashbuckling debut in the Ryobi One-Day Cup for the Warriors last season, in which he made a quick-fire 51 off 43 balls and took 1-32 from six overs against Tasmania. Turner took 16 wickets with 344 runs in 11 games for Fremantle in the 2012-13 District first grade season.
Davis re-joins the Scorchers squad after being a member of the team’s inaugural campaign, however, he did not take to the field that year due to injury. The 2011-12 season remained successful for Davis and the opening batsman notched a remarkable triple century in BUPA Sheffield Shield, making 303 not out against NSW and capturing the prestigious Laurie Sawle medal as the Warriors’ Player of the Season. The 28-year-old will be keen to bounce back after a lean 2012-13.
Scorchers coach Justin Langer said that experience would prove fruitful for the side, “The history and the camaraderie that a team builds is often the glue that holds it together when the pressure is on.”
“In Twenty20 cricket, there’s always plenty of pressure, so it’s nice to know you’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a group of guys you’ve previously performed well with.
“Experience is a wonderful thing and the fact we’ve made the past two BBL finals is a great credit to the Scorchers.
“We’ll be looking to go one step forward, but if we can continue to play the exciting and explosive cricket we have over the past two seasons, then hopefully the silverware will look after itself.”
Current Perth Scorchers playing list: Simon Katich (c), Michael Beer, Ashton Turner, Liam Davis, Adam Voges, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitch Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Shaun Marsh, Tom Triffitt.
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