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Scorchers sign Willey as lone international

Title-holders announce England quick as their only overseas signing for BBL|07

Reigning champions Perth Scorchers' bid for a fourth KFC Big Bash League crown will feature just one overseas signing, the club confirmed Tuesday with the signing of England fast bowler David Willey.

In an unconventional decision, the Scorchers announced Monday that Willey - a potent swing bowler and handy lower-order batsman - will be the club's lone international player during BBL|07.

Willey up and about with two in three balls

Clubs are allowed two overseas players in their playing XI for each match and sides have almost universally aimed to fill those two spots over the course of six completed Big Bash seasons.

The left-armer will return for his third stint with the club for BBL|07 having played an integral role in their title-winning season last summer.


"I'm really pleased to be heading back to Perth, it's such a great competition and great place to play cricket and I absolutely love playing for the Scorchers," Willey said in a statement. 

"It's one of the best groups of lads I've ever played with over my career and I love playing under (coach Justin Langer).

"I think the Big Bash is the best T20 competition in the world. The crowds, the following; everything about it is fantastic and obviously the weather is fantastic, so you're guaranteed to play a lot of cricket.

"I was sitting at home on the sofa thinking about what the Scorchers side will be and I was thinking I might not get in the team now. The challenge to get in the playing side will be tough but that's good to be a part of."

In 14 matches for Perth across BBL|05 (helping the Scorchers to the semi-final) and BBL|06 (winners), the left-armer has collected 17 wickets at 20.64 with his economy rate sitting at the tidy mark of 7.02.

Willey also has two T20 centuries to his name and is a regular in England's limited-overs sides, leading them to the 2016 World T20 final in India where they narrowly lost to West Indies.

Willey blasts 40-ball T20 century

His presence in England's squad for the Gillette ODI series against Australia this summer could limit his availability for the Scorchers at the business end of the BBL.

The five-match ODI series, which follows the upcoming Magellan Ashes, gets underway on January 14 at the MCG. 

Perth meanwhile play their sixth match of the BBL on January 8 at home to the Melbourne Renegades, and then their seventh and eighth games on January 11 (against Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium) and January 13 (against Adelaide Strikers in Alice Springs) respectively.

The BBL|07 final will be held on January 25.

The Scorchers have tended to recruit overseas players they know will be available for the majority – if not the whole – of the tournament to complement a squad that has otherwise consisted almost entirely of Western Australia-contracted players.

Willey is currently the only member of the Scorchers' BBL|07 roster – which now has just two spots left unfilled – who isn't a current or recently-retired (in the case of former WA captain Adam Voges and speedster Mitchell Johnson) Warriors player.

The Scorchers say the final two squad spots will be filled by local players.

Perth Scorchers BBL|07 squad: Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey (OS).