Young gun Josh Philippe has resisted the urge to return to the Perth Scorchers, re-signing with the Sydney Sixers on a long-term deal.
Philippe was one of the standout performers during last season’s KFC BBL having been snapped up by the Sixers on a one-year deal shortly before the season began.
And having impressed in scoring 304 runs as the Sixers made the semi-finals, the wicketkeeper-batsman has re-signed for another three seasons.
Philippe immediately drew comparisons to Steve Smith during the BBL and impressed the likes of Shane Warne so much that the spin king even suggested the 21-year-old should have been considered for Australia’s World Cup campaign this year.
Philippe’s decision not to return to the Scorchers is another blow for the most successful club in BBL history, who won just four of 14 games last season to finish with the wooden spoon.
The shock recent exit of Shaun Marsh – who has agreed a multi-year deal with the Melbourne Renegades – plus the departure of club stalwart Michael Klinger and unlikely return of import David Willey puts the Scorchers in the midst of a rebuilding phase.
Last summer, Philippe had resigned himself to being a reserve player for the Scorchers during BBL|08, even turning down approaches from a handful of other clubs to stay loyal to his home city.
But when the Sixers came with a late offer to take the wicketkeeping gloves as well as bat in the top six, the Western Australian found that certainty too good to turn down and signed just weeks ahead of the season.
The signing of a multi-year deal is another step forward for the dashing right-hander, who has impressed in tour matches against England and South Africa in recent seasons and who broke through for his maiden first-class century this summer.