NSW captain Simon Katich has become the first player to divide his

cricketing loyalties across the continent, by signing with Perth

Scorchers for the new Big Bash League.

It will give him two home

states this summer, as the dumped 35-year-old Test opener has committed

to continuing with NSW in the longer forms of the game.

He was

among the first players signed to one of the eight franchises in the

city-based Twenty20 domestic competition, when the contract window

opened on Thursday.

Explosive West Indian opening batsman Chris Gayle will head the other way.


playing Twenty20 cricket for Western Australia in the past two seasons,

Gayle has committed to Sydney Thunder, one of two franchises in the NSW


He will open the batting with fellow big-hitting left-hander David Warner, who has also been signed by the Thunder.

The Scorchers had hoped to keep Gayle in WA, but their $250,000 offer was not enough for the West Indian.


coach Mickey Arthur said it was a blow, but they had other

international players on their radar and could not afford to blow too

much of their $1 million salary cap on Gayle.

“Securing one

player, but running the risk of losing talented young players in the

process is simply not an option when you are trying to build a team from

scratch,” Arthur said.

The Perth outfit have locked in plenty of

local talent, with WA players Shaun Marsh, Marcus North and Luke

Pomersbach signed up, while long-time NSW batsman Katich is WA-born.

Queensland allrounder Ryan Harris is Brisbane Heat’s first signing.


main contracting window closes on July 22, with teams needing to sign a

minimum of 14 players and a maximum of 18, including up to two from

overseas, in that time.