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Scorchers searching for import boost

23 August 2016

Ian Bell, who is reported to be in discussions with the Perth Scorchers, goes on the attack for Warwickshire //Getty

Perennial contender Perth Scorchers look to swoop on experienced England batsman for this summer's KFC Twenty20 Big Bash tournament

The Perth Scorchers could bet set to add a second Englishman to their squad, with the two-time KFC Big Bash League champions reported to be in discussions with Ian Bell.

The 34-year-old captain of Warwickshire retired from international limited-overs cricket in 2015, but any deal with the Scorchers could be scuppered by a possible Test return.

Bell has not played Test cricket for England since November, while the Guardian has reported he was in discussions to join David Willey on the Scorchers' roster this summer.

Ian Bell hits a half-century against Australia in 2015

Perth has re-signed five internationals for this season's Big Bash – Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Willey – as well as former Australia fast-bowling spearhead Mitchell Johnson.

Quick Single: Injured Willey pulled out of ODIs

They have one vacancy in their 18-man squad, which will be filled by an overseas player.

Former international signing and Scorchers fan favourite Michael Carberry revealed in July that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour.

Quick Single: Carberry reveals tumour battle

Bell, who has played 118 Tests and has 7727 runs at 42.69 to his name, boasts significant experience in the Twenty20 arena.

He has made eight T20 international appearances, averaging 26.85 at a strike rate of 115.33.

The right-hander has also made 67 appearances in England's domestic T20 competition.

Ian Bell plays a stylish cover drive in England's domestic T20 competition // Getty

Bell, who was this year appointed as captain of the Birmingham Bears, is still searching for his first century in the shortest format of the game. He has scored 1633 runs at 28.15 with 10 half-centuries and a best score of 90.

Bell was the Bears' leading performer in this year's T20 competition, logging 489 runs, including five 50s, from 14 innings at the top of the order.

Complicating any approach by the Scorchers were reports England may opt to recall Bell to their Test side in a bid to solve their middle-order woes.

England has tours of Bangladesh and India coming up and the Guardian reported Bell – a noted player of spin – had been sounded out by England coach Trevor Bayliss about a possible return.

While the Scorchers declined to comment on reports of talks with Bell, Scorchers coach Justin Langer has previously flagged his interest in South Africa pacemen Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

Langer wants Steyn, Morkel at Scorchers

"(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)?"

Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye and Sam Whiteman have also committed to the Scorchers.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

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Perth Scorchers BBL


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