BEARS captain Ian Bell is looking forward to making Perth his new home over the winter months after signing for Australian Big Bash team Perth Scorchers for the 2016/17 campaign which gets underway in December.
The Scorchers are the most successful team in the history of the Big Bash after winning in 2013/14 and 2014/15, while also finishing as runners-up in the two preceding years.
Coventry-born Bell will join them for all group games and the potential knock-out stages.
“The Scorchers have been a force in every season of the Big Bash and I’m really excited about joining up with the team in December and making in The Furnace my home ground,” said Bell.
“I’ve spent a good amount of time in Perth on tours with England, but also playing grade cricket for the University of Western Australia during the early part of my career. It’s a fantastic city and I’m looking forward to returning with my family and hopefully playing a key role for the Scorchers in BBL6.”
Bell was the top scorer for Birmingham Bears in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast with 489 runs in 13 innings at an average of 40.75.
The 34-year-old registered five half centuries in the group stages, with a best of 80 against Notts Outlaws at Edgbaston in July.
In 2015 he became only the third Englishman to have won five Ashes series and has won 118 Test, 161 One-Day International and eight International T20 caps to date.
“It’s exciting to be able to add a player of Ian’s top-level experience and quality to our squad,” said Justin Langer, head coach of Perth Scorchers.
“With 22 Test centuries and a One-Day International average close to 40, he’ll bolster our batting options.
“He’s played at the international level for more than decade so brings experience and leadership having captained his county side Warwickshire and the Birmingham Bears. We’re delighted to have him on board.”