Shaun Marsh has joined the Melbourne Renegades in a shock move that has broken the Marsh family's lifelong association with Western Australian cricket.
Marsh had played all his cricket with WA and has been with the Perth Scorchers since the foundation of the city-based KFC BBL in 2011. His younger brother Mitch remains the Scorchers captain, and their father, Geoff Marsh, was a stalwart of WA cricket playing 117 first-class games between 1977 and 1994.
Marsh's signing on a multi-year deal is a massive coup for the reigning BBL|08 champions who will now boast a potent top-order with Marsh a candidate to partner Australia limited overs captain Aaron Finch.
Marsh, who is with Australia's one-day squad in India ahead of tonight's fifth and deciding ODI in Delhi, said his relationship with Finch had helped cement the deal.
"I'd like to thank everyone at the Scorchers who have supported me over the years – it was a very successful period for the club," Marsh said in a statement.
"But I'm ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to join the Renegades on the back of such a successful season is very exciting.
"I've spent a lot of time with Finchy and know the other guys well, so I'm looking forward to it."
Marsh has played 37 games for the Scorchers over the eight seasons of the BBL, but his involvement had been limited by his time with the national team in various formats.
However the left-hander, who turns 36 later this year, was dropped from Australia's Test side this summer but remains one of the nation's premier white-ball players.
He averages nearly 50 for the Scorchers, with 1435 runs in 37 innings at a strike-rate of 130 and top score of 99 not out.
He is tenth on the competition's all-time leading run-scorers list and boasts the highest average among that group.
Melbourne Renegades head coach Andrew McDonald said Marsh gave the Renegades more flexibility at the top of the order.
"Shaun is one of the most experienced players in the country and excels in white ball cricket. His BBL record speaks for itself and he'll gives us even greater flexibility at the top of our batting order," McDonald said.
"We've been on the end of a few of Shaun's big performances over the years so it's nice to have him as a teammate instead."
Marsh made his BBL best 99 not out off 52 balls against the Renegades in BBL|01, and hit 76 from 54 against them in BBL|05.
Marsh's exit is the most high-profile from the WA stable to head east, and follows the moves of Scorcher favourite Brad Hogg and opening batter Marcus Harris to join the Renegades in recent years.
WA's general manager of high performance Ben Oliver said: "We are obviously disappointed that Shaun won't be part of the Perth Scorchers' campaign in BBL|09, he has been an important part of our success and he leaves the Scorchers on good terms.
"We won't be commenting on specific player contracting negotiations however discussions are progressing well and we are confident of assembling a strong squad for next season and beyond."
The Scorchers finished with the wooden spoon in BBL|08 in the first season with Adam Voges in charge following Justin Langer's ascension to the national men's team head coaching role.
Rising WA talent Josh Philippe also left WA to join the Sydney Sixers for BBL|08 and was one of the tournament's hottest prospects. He had not been offered a contract by the Scorchers but had initially been content to stay in Perth as a replacement batsman until the Sixers offered him the gloves and a spot in the top six for the tournament.
The 21-year-old had a breakout season with the Sixers, scoring 304 runs at 30.4 with a high of 86 not out, as well as a tournament-best 12 dismissals.
He hopes to sign a long-term deal with WA to play his first-class cricket in the state, but concedes he has a tougher decision to make for the BBL.
"I've got another year with WA but I don't think that will be an issue, I'm hoping I'll be asked to extend at WA," Philippe told WA's Sunday Times this week.
"WA is my home, I love playing for WA and I've had plenty of opportunities already going through so I don't see any reason why I should consider moving.
"I guess Big Bash is the one where it will be a bit more of a tough decision.
"I won't be looking at offers elsewhere, it will be only be between the Sixers and the Scorchers."