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Bell revealed as new Scorchers recruit

30 August 2016

Bell showed strong form in the T20 Blast this year // Getty Images

Ex-Test batsman signs with the Scorchers for this summer, joining countryman David Willey in Perth

Perth Scorchers have signed former England batsman Ian Bell as their second overseas player for the upcoming KFC Big Bash League season.

Bell, who hasn't played for England since he was dropped from the Test side late last year, joins countryman David Willey as Perth's two imports for BBL|06.

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The 34-year-old enjoyed more than 11 years at the top level before his axing last November, playing 118 Tests, 161 One-Day Internationals and eight T20 Internationals for his country.

Bell notches an ODI fifty at the WACA

His name has been mentioned for a possible recall for England's upcoming Test tours of Bangladesh and India, given his experience in subcontinental conditions and the Test team's struggles to replace him in the middle order.

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Even if Bell does earn a Test recall, his international duties won't significantly hamper Perth's BBL campaign, which will get underway against Adelaide Strikers on December 23, three days after the final scheduled day of England's Test series in India.

Bell is no stranger to Perth having played multiple international matches there, while he also played with Perth club side University in 2003-04.

"I'm delighted to be coming back to play in Perth for the Scorchers in this year’s Big Bash," Bell said.

"I love the city having played there earlier in my career and to work with Justin Langer will be superb.

"The Scorchers have a fantastic record in the competition having made every finals series and winning two titles so I’m looking forward to hopefully helping them do that again this year."

Bell, a classical right-hander with more than 13,000 international runs to his name, was Warwickshire's top run-scorer in the T20 Blast this year, scoring 489 runs in 14 matches at an impressive strike rate of 130.74, including five half-centuries.

He opened the batting in the T20 Blast and also captained the side as the Bears finished sixth in their division with six wins from 14 matches.

Given his experience opening the batting, Bell would be expected to partner fellow veteran Michael Klinger at the top of the order for the Scorchers this summer.

Bell, who last played an international T20 in May 2014, announced his retirement from international limited-overs cricket last year.

He's played three Ashes Tests at the WACA Ground during his career, scoring 0 and 87 in 2006, 53 and 16 in 2010 and 15 and 60 in 2013.

Bell fights with Ashes fifty at the WACA

He's also played five ODIs at the ground, with a top score of 55 against the Aussies in 2014.

The Englishman joins a strong line-up at the two-time BBL champions, who announced the re-signings of five international players as well as the recruitment of former Australia fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson earlier this month.

Willey will return for his second season at The Furnace, while the Scorchers have also confirmed Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile have re-signed for BBL|06, although Coulter-Nile's availability is expected to be limited due to a back injury confirmed by Cricket Australia on Monday.

The signing of Bell completes Perth's 18-man roster for BBL|06.

Scorchers BBL|06 squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Ian Bell, 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

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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