CRICKET: Ian Bell off to Australia for Big Bash 6

Ian Bell captain of Birmingham Bears
Ian Bell captain of Birmingham Bears

Warwickshire captain to join Perth Scorchers

Ian Bell to join Perth Scorchers for Big Bash 6

Birmingham Bears captain Ian Bell has signed for Australian Big Bash team Perth Scorchers to play in the 2016/17 competition, which gets underway in December.

The Scorchers are the most successful team in the history of the Big Bash – winning in 2013/14 and 2014/15 and runners-up in the two preceding years – with Bell joining them for all group games and the potential knock-out stages.

The former Princethorpe College student from Dunchurch said: “The Scorchers have been a force in every season of the Big Bash and I’m really excited about joining up with the team in December and making The Furnace my home ground.

“I’ve spent a good amount of time in Perth on tours with England, but also playing grade cricket for the University of Western Australia during the early part of my career. It’s a fantastic city and I’m looking forward to returning with my family and hopefully playing a key role for the Scorchers in BBL6.”

Bell, 34, was the top scorer for Birmingham Bears in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast with 489 runs in 13 innings at an average of 40.75. He registered five half centuries in the group stages, with a best of 80 against Notts Outlaws at Edgbaston in July.

In 2015 he became only the third Englishman to have won five Ashes series and has won 118 Test, 161 One-Day International and eight International T20 caps to date.

Justin Langer, Head Coach of Perth Scorchers, said: “It’s exciting to be able to add a player of Ian’s top-level experience and quality to our squad.

“With 22 Test centuries and a One-Day International average close to 40, he’ll bolster our batting options.

“He’s played at the international level for more than decade so brings experience and leadership having captained his county side Warwickshire and the Birmingham Bears. We’re delighted to have him on board.”