Veteran South African batter Faf du Plessis has inked a contract with Perth Scorchers as a replacement international player ahead of the 2022-23 Big Bash League (BBL) season. A powerful right-hander, du Plessis, who will soon call Optus Stadium home, has represented the Proteas 262 times -- 69 Tests, 143 ODIs, 50 T20Is -- and captained the side in 115 games -- 36 Tests, 39 ODIs, 40 T20Is -- during an international career that spanned from 2011-2021.
He is also the most experienced player on Perth's list, having played 311 professional T20 games and scored 8,074 runs -- four centuries, 50 half-centuries -- at 31.05. In Australia, du Plessis averaged 83.16 in Tests -- 499 runs from nine innings -- and 52.60 in ODIs -- 526 runs from 12 innings --, while he struck 27 from 15 during his only T20I on Australian soil, according to Scorchers.
The 38-year-old has proven his class playing multiple roles but is most at home near the top of the order where his timing and clean ball-striking rises to the fore. Du Plessis is expected to be available for the first seven games of BBL-12, replacing Englishman Laurie Evans.
Perth will launch their title defence against Sydney Sixers at the Optus Stadium on December 17. "I'm really exciting to be signing with Perth Scorchers. I think the first thing that jumps to mind is that Perth are four-time champions, which is very impressive.
Any player who plays around the world wants to win competitions, so it's a great franchise to be part of," said du Plessis. "I'm also keen to come in and learn. I think it's important to learn from other people and organisations, and find out why they're successful.
I'm also excited to share my experiences and the things I've learned, and hopefully that can be a great combination. "Looking from afar, it looks like Optus is probably the quickest wicket in the world. Watching the World Cup, the bounce looked very, very steep.
Obviously, the wickets in South Africa and Australia are quite similar with more pace and bounce than spin, so it is something I've grown up with and I'm looking forward to playing in Perth this summer."