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Scorchers sign Alfonso Thomas for T20
14:12 AEST Tue Nov 27 2012

The Perth Scorchers have signed 35-year-old paceman Alfonso Thomas to replace South African Albie Morkel for this summer's Twenty20 Big Bash season.

Morkel was forced to withdraw from the tournament after South Africa's board refused to grant him a clearance to play.

The Scorchers will also be without paceman Pat Cummins, who is out for the summer due to stress fractures in his back, and star all-rounder Mitch Marsh (hamstring).

Thomas, who played for the Adelaide Strikers last summer, will miss the first two matches of the season but will be available for the rest of the tournament.

The short-form specialist has taken 173 wickets in 153 T20 matches at an average of 21.58, and has conceded just under 7.5 runs per over.

"Alfonso is very experienced, bowls with good pace ... and is the best death bowler that I have seen in one-day cricket," Scorchers coach Justin Langer said.

"He is also an incredible person to have around a dressing room. He is going to be brilliant for the Scorchers."

Veteran batsman Simon Katich will captain the Scorchers, who made the Big Bash final last summer but bombed out badly in last month's lucrative T20 Champions League in South Africa.