Ian Bell, captain of Warwickshire and the Birmingham Bears, has signed to play for Australian Big Bash team Perth Scorchers in the 2016/17 competition, starting in December.
He joins the Scorchers for all the group games and, potentially, the knock-out stages.
After leading Warwickshire to the final of the Royal London One Day Cup, Ian spoke of his pleasure at being part of the Perth team.
“I’m really excited about joining up with the Scorchers and making The Furnace my home ground,” he said.
“I played grade cricket with the University of Western Australia during the early part of my career. Perth is a fantastic city and I’m looking forward to returning with my family and hopefully playing a key role for the Scorchers.”
The 34-year-old was the top scorer for the Birmingham Bears in this year’s Natwest T20 Blast with 489 runs in 13 innings at an average of 40.75.
He has been on the winning side in five Ashes series and has played 118 Tests 161 One-Day Internationals and eight T20 games for England to date.
Justin Langer, Scorchers head coach and Australia opener against Bell in the 2005 and 2006/07 Ashes series, said: “It’s exciting to be able to add a player of Ian’s top level experience and quality to our squad. We’re delighted to have him on board.”
As for his availability for England this winter should the call come, Ian Bell was non-committal. “We haven’t discussed that. But, of course, my phone will be switched on.”