Perth Scorchers have just one spot remaining on their roster for the upcoming KFC Big Bash League season after announcing the signing of seven players today.
The Scorchers have re-signed Australia representatives Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile as well as English import David Willey for BBL|06, while they have also signed young allrounder Hilton Cartwright and promising young quick Jhye Richardson.
It leaves the Scorchers with just one vacancy on their 18-man roster, to be filled by an overseas player.
The seven new signings join new recruit Mitchell Johnson, whose deal was finalised earlier this month.
Quick Single: Johnson joins Scorchers with warning to Hogg
"We’re delighted to have retained the majority of our squad, which helped us make the BBL semi-finals for the fifth consecutive year last season," said Scorchers coach Justin Langer.
"It’s particularly pleasing to have our players committed and secured at this point in time, allowing us excellent preparation for another tilt at the BBL."
Cartwright, 24, played five games for the Scorchers last season and also played a crucial role with the Alcohol. Think Again Warriors, including his maiden Sheffield Shield century.
Richardson, a former Under-19 representative, debut in all three formats for the Scorchers and Warriors last year.
Willey's availability for BBL|06 will depend on his selection for England, who are scheduled to play white-ball cricket in India in January.
And the left-armer's preparations for the upcoming season could be interrupted by a hand injury he picked up in the T20 Blast finals last night.
Willey was struck on his left hand early in Yorkshire's match against Durham and briefly left the field, before returning to complete his spell. The diagnosis on the injury is yet to be confirmed by the club.
The identity of Perth's second overseas player remains a mystery, although Langer has flagged his interest in star South Africa quicks Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
"(The Scorchers) would definitely be interested in signing Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel,” Langer said earlier this month.
"But that’s one of the toughest things about the BBL, trying to find overseas players because great players like that are playing international cricket so you either have them for none of the time or some of it.
"They’d have to work it out with their governing board.
"We asked David Miller but he’s got a verbal agreement with the other guys. Not sure how it’s going to work out. These things evolve but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Imagine having Dale Steyn here. Who wouldn’t (want him)?"
South Africa are scheduled to host Sri Lanka in three Tests, three T20s and five ODIs between December 26 and February 10.
Quick Single: Langer ponders overseas options
But according to a report on ESPNCricinfo, both Steyn and Morkel (who was left out of the Proteas’ World T20 squad) have expressed interest in playing in the BBL.
Langer has also revealed he had spoken to several West Indies players, including allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, but the West Indies Cricket Board’s current policy prevents players who don't make themselves available for domestic competitions – including the Super50 tournament in January each year - from being eligible for international selection.
"Guys like them, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, if they are to play BBL they have to renege on playing for their countries," Langer said.
"It’s courageous for people to do that. There’s lots of talk and lots of speculation but in reality not a lot give up international cricket to come and play BBL.
"You’ve seen controversy (around) Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo doing that, but not sure some of those players starting off international careers or still playing international cricket would like to.
"Of course we’d like to have them.
"Carlos would be brilliant in the BBL, he’s like a giant, he whacks them, he bowls, he’s a gun athlete, he fields but to get him there he’s got to sign off playing for the Windies. I wouldn’t do that."
Scorchers BBL|06 squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman, David Willey