Perth Scorchers has confirmed a triple signing led by the recruitment of former Australia quick Mitchell Johnson for KFC BBL|06.
The news is accompanied by the re-signing of Southern Stars batswoman Elyse Villani for WBBL|02 and Holman Industries extending their partnership to be across both the BBL and WBBL sides in a significant boost for the game in WA.
The recruitment of 34-year-old Johnson, who was the 2014 ICC Cricketer of the Year, is a major coup for the Scorchers and sure to add to the excitement at #TheFurnace this summer.
Johnson has never played a BBL game and said that was a major draw and insisted he was only ever going to play for Perth.
“I was never going anywhere else and always wanted to stay here and be part of the community,” Johnson said.
“To be able to play for the Perth Scorchers, where I live and where I’m based, is perfect for me.
“It’s exciting to be able to play Twenty20 cricket. A lot of the boys have told me about the Big Bash and how good it’s become, not only from a spectators’ point of view but also from a player’s point of view.
“It’s really good to play and it’s only getting bigger and bigger.”
Johnson, who played 73 Tests, 153 One-Day Internationals and 30 T20 Internationals for Australia, is eager to take on a mentor’s role within the squad.
He was excited to work with Perth’s talented young bowling stocks including fellow left-armers Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff.
“I’ll hopefully be able to guide these young guys in the right direction,” Johnson said. “I want be a mentor and bowl alongside these guys.
“I want to be involved in the coaching side of things which has become a bit more of a focus for me.
“I also want to enjoy it and have some fun.”
Villani returns for Scorchers
The re-signing of Australia international Villani, 26, is a major boost for the Scorchers ahead of WBBL|02, with the squad now at 12 members, with three spots remaining.
Villani finished WBBL|01 strongly as the side made the semi-finals, earning selection with the Southern Stars for the Women’s World T20 in India.
The right-handed top-order batswoman scored 326 runs during WBBL|01 including two half-centuries for the Scorchers.
“I’m delighted to have signed on for WBBL|02 with the Scorchers,” Villani said.
“We’ve got a young and exciting group who’ll be looking to go that bit further after reaching the semi-finals last season.”
Villani, who moved to Perth last year, has represented Australia in 38 T20 Internationals with an average of 27.96.
The Scorchers announced the re-signing of seven players on Sunday, along with the recruitment of Hockeyroo Mathilda Carmichael.
Perth Scorchers WBBL|02 squad: Megan Banting, Suzie Bates, Emma Biss, Nicole Bolton, Mathilda Carmichael, Piepa Cleary, Lauren Ebsary, Heather Graham, Katie Hartshorn, Emma King, Chloe Piparo, Elyse Villani
Holman extends partnership
Holman Industries partnered the Scorchers’ WBBL side last season and has increased its commitment to WA cricket by coming on board with the men’s squad.
WACA CEO Christina Matthews said: “It’s an extremely exciting time for cricket in WA with everything that is happening around our high performance programs, record participation numbers with strong growth across female cricket and sell-out attendances for the Perth Scorchers.
“The role our Partners play is vital in helping us grow the game in WA and we are delighted to extend Holman’s support across both teams for the upcoming season.”
Holman Industries Managing Director Wally Edwards said: “As a proud 50-year-old Western Australian family business, Holman is excited to partner with the both the Male and Female Perth Scorchers teams for the next two seasons.
“We’re committed to equality in all areas, whether that be in the workplace, or on the sporting field, and we’re pleased to be able to assist in growing participation across the cricket programs that exist for both male and female players, here in WA and nationally.
“We’re looking forward to a very successful season with the Perth Scorchers in one of the most dynamic sports leagues in the world.”
Scorchers Memberships are on sale for BBL|06 from Wednesday 14 September via membership.perthscorchers.com.au.