NCN joins Perth exodus, Thunder name new skipper

15 August 2019

Three more WA products leave the Perth Scorchers set-up for BBL|09 while Callum Ferguson takes over as Thunder captain

Nathan Coulter-Nile is the latest player to depart the KFC Big Bash League's most successful club after the paceman left the Perth Scorchers to sign a long-term deal with the Melbourne Stars.

The Stars confirmed today that Coulter-Nile, who featured in Australia's recent World Cup campaign in the United Kingdom, had joined fellow Western Australians Lance Morris and Clint Hinchliffe in signing with last season's runners-up ahead of BBL09.

Former Test batsman Hilton Cartwright had already crossed from the Scorchers to the Stars earlier this year, while Shaun Marsh also departed for the champion Melbourne Renegades.

The news comes as BBL tickets go on sale around the country for the revamped 2019-20 season that includes a new-look finals system.

The Scorchers have owed much of their success to their homegrown Western Australian players, but the three-time BBL champions may be forced to shift their gaze elsewhere this season as they look to bounce back from their first ever bottom-place finish last summer.

They have already signed Victorian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, while they've been linked to a move for South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.

"The opportunity to come to Melbourne and the MCG for the summer and to play at the Stars proved to be an exciting one," Coulter-Nile said.

"The last eight years at the Scorchers have been great and it was a tough decision to leave."

Coulter-Nile was player of the match in Australia's second match of the World Cup after posting 92 off 60 balls against West Indies, but lost his spot later in the tournament when Jason Behrendorff was preferred at the business end of the tournament.

Morris, dubbed ‘The Wild Thing’ by his Western Australian teammates, is a 21-year-old tearaway who was on the Stars’ books last season but didn’t play a game.

Hinchliffe is a 23-year-old spin-bowling allrounder who played three games for the Scorchers in his debut season last summer.

Sydney Thunder has also announced that Callum Ferguson has taken over from Shane Watson as captain of the club, with Chris Green to be his deputy.

Ferguson was the Thunder's leading run scorer last season, striking a 48-ball century against the Scorchers, and coach Shane Bond says it was a "natural progression" for the South Australian veteran to become skipper after Watson retired from the BBL earlier this year.

Ferguson smashes sensational century

"He’s got a really calm head, he’s a good communicator and is very well respected within the group," Bond said.

"He knows his game well too which is important because there’s a lot of pressure in the Big Bash, so you want someone who understands their own game and can manage captaincy responsibilities as well."

Reigning champions Melbourne Renegades meanwhile confirmed their BBL08 revelation Sam Harper had re-signed for the coming three seasons.

Harper played all 16 games for the Renegades and finished the tournament as the side's first-choice wicketkeeper. The 22-year-old had previously played for the Stars.

"We have a really tight knit group at the Renegades and I'm looking forward to being part of that again," Harper said.

"Obviously we have a lot of great memories from last season but I think the exciting thing is that this group has so much improvement left in it.

"We'll be working hard to ensure we give our members and fans plenty to cheer about when BBL|09 gets underway."

Indoor cricketer takes triple hat-trick

Highly-rated teenage prospect Jake Fraser-McGurk has also been snapped up by the Gades, while left-arm quick Mitchell Davey has joined as a BBL Development Rookie.

Fraser-McGurk, a 17-year-old right-handed batter who also bowls leg-spin, made his Australia Under-19s debut earlier this year against England.

As Under-13 captain of Victoria's indoor cricket side in 2015, he took a triple hat-trick (five wickets in five balls), but has blossomed into an aggressive middle-order batsman in the intervening years.

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Melbourne Stars Men

Perth Scorchers

Nathan Coulter-Nile