04/03/2024

Laurie Evans is back in the Scorchers uniform and is ready to light up the furnace. (Photo: ESPN Cricinfo)

BBL|11 Player of the Final Laurie Evans is on the hunt for more glory in Australia after being retained by the Perth Scorchers in the second round of the draft.

With a scintillating 76 runs off 41 balls, including four sixes, the Englishman guide his team to victory over the Sydney Sixers after the top order fell easily.

Evans played 15 matches for the Scorchers last season, but only appeared in 11 innings. During this time he was able to put on 361 runs with his final performance his best.

Playing since 15 years of age, Evans peaked late. Constantly putting in good performances in the English domestic league, he was picked up as one of the Perth Scorchers international players last season.

This had him averaging 40.11 runs a game with two half-centuries. He easily found the boundary line hitting 24 fours and 14 sixes with a strike rate of 144.40. The big-hitter was also a safe fielder taking four catches and had very little mistakes in the outfield.

“I can’t see myself playing any better than I did in the final,” Evans said.

The 34-year-old has had quite a storied career especially in the white ball format. He has played well over 220 Twenty20 games appearing across several domestic leagues.

This includes playing for Dhaka Platoon in the Bangladesh Premier League, Kabul Zwanan in the Afghanistan Premier League and Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League.

In his native country of England he has represented Durham, Marlyebone Cricket Club, Surrey, Sussex and Warwickshire. A stalwart batter for each of the clubs, he became a great signing for the Scorchers.

During the inaugural BBL draft, the Sydney Sixers tried to pick him up in the second round, but the Scorchers were quick to retain his services.

Returning to the franchise, he’s eager to push for another trophy, this time in front of a home crowd.

“It was a bit of a surprise at the draft, but I suppose it was quite a bit of drama, which was nice. It would be weird not to be playing for them again,” Evans said.

“I’m obviously so proud to be taken back by Perth. It’s obviously the most successful franchise in the competition. Another trophy with the Scorchers would be amazing.

“I’ve just got to keep backing it up every time I play in a competition. [I] just keep trying to deliver performances that win games of cricket. If people are entertained along the way, then that’s my job done.”

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Due to COVID-19 last season the Scorchers were unable to play at home. Even though they were able to win the tournament last season, they couldn’t celebrate with their fans. Evans is looking forward to having their fan base behind him and the club.

“It would just be amazing to play at a stadium again in front of home fans. I think that was one thing that was just missing from the whole experience,” he said.

“It’s going to be a much more sort of family feel, in front of the home fans and at our home stadium. It’s an amazing place to play, so I can’t wait.”

The Scorchers will open their campaign against the Sydney Sixers in a rematch of the decider. Both teams have been rivals since BBL|1, where the Sixers toppled them in the league’s first final.

Since then, both teams have become the most successful clubs in the Big Bash League competition. This includes the Scorchers upsetting the Sixers in last year’s final.

Evans is most looking forward to going against his teammate, Sean Abbott who he played with in The Hundred. Abbott, who plays for the Sydney Sixers and Australia, has continuously been one of their main players over the years.

“Sean’s a great character, great person to be around. He’s a great bloke, it’s fantastic to see him,” Evans said.

“It was great fun to have him over in The Hundred and it’s fantastic to play against him again in the summer.

“I see someone who knows his game, knows his strengths, knows his weaknesses. Someone who’s now very experienced under pressure.”

The BBL|12 season begins for the Perth Scorchers on December 17 against the Sydney Sixers. The full BBL|12 fixture can be seen here.

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