Photo Credit: Perth Scorchers
Perth Scorchers have added significant batting depth to their 2023-24 KFC Big Bash League squad, securing star England opener Zak Crawley and title-winning Scorcher Laurie Evans at the BBL|13 Draft tonight.
Having passed during the Platinum round, the Scorchers pounced on Crawley during the Gold round with selection 16.
A tall and elegant opener, Crawley wasted no time etching his name into Ashes folklore by blasting the first delivery of the recently concluded series through cover for four.
He finished that campaign with 480 runs at 53.33 and the enviable red ball strike rate of 88.72, including 189 runs from just 182 deliveries in Manchester.
Crawley has noteworthy presence at the crease and is renowned for his prowess against the short ball, boasting a skillset tailormade for the pace and bounce of Optus Stadium.
The Scorchers secured another powerful Englishman in the Silver round, bringing versatile right-hander Evans back to Perth with pick 17.
Evans was central to the Club’s BBL|11 triumph, crunching 361 runs at 40.11 (strike rate 144.4) while playing multiple roles in the top and middle-order.
Equipped with an impressive repertoire of conventional and inventive strokes, Evans showcased his class during a match-defining innings of 76* from 41 balls in the BBL|11 Final.
That innings, which revived the Scorchers after a stuttering start, earned Evans Player of the Match honours and reinforced the reputation he had already established as a big game player.
Perth concluded the Draft by passing in the Bronze round, with the option of signing a third international closer to the BBL|13 season.
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Speaking after the Draft, Perth Scorchers Head Coach Adam Voges said:
“Zak’s Test performances have been really impressive and we saw what he did in the Ashes. Watching him play for the Hurricanes last year, I saw some good signs. He’s a really tall batsman who plays good cricket shots but has some serious power, as well. I think that’s the prototype of the player we want, particularly at Optus Stadium, who can the handle pace and bounce and hopefully get us off to a couple of quick starts.
“We missed Laurie last year. We’re really pleased to see him back playing cricket and pleased to have him back again.
“(Not using a third selection) gives us some flexibility. We think we’ve got enough cover in terms of our domestic and local fast bowlers. Having said that, injuries happen, Aussie selection happens, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing that will dictate that third spot.”
Perth Scorchers squad for BBL|13
Zak Crawley (International – England)
Laurie Evans (International – England)
Ashton Turner – Captain