Cricket Australia has landed its first marquee man for the Big Bash League draft, with South Africa star Faf du Plessis nominating to play this summer.
Du Plessis was unveiled as one of three maiden nominees for the overseas draft on Thursday, with fellow South Africans Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese and Marchant de Lange having also applied.
Du Plessis, 37, has not played international cricket since last February, but remains available to South Africa for the T20 World Cup if they opt to pick him from outside their national contract list.
But regardless of his age, he is the kind of big-name international pulling power the competition has long craved amid a recent decline in ratings and overall appeal.
"We're thrilled to welcome Faf, Marchant, Rilee and David to the BBL," the league's head of acquisition Trent Woodhill said.
"(They're) all game-changing players with a wealth of experience at international and franchise level.
"We remain engaged in positive discussions with a large number players and their agents."
Often derided for clubs going after lesser-known overseas T20 specialists rather than big names, Du Plessis' nomination goes away from that mould.
The South African remains captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and still plays in several other domestic leagues.
Across his 10-year international career he remained one of the biggest names in world cricket, while often becoming a thorn in Australia's side.
His signing is a throwback to that of fellow countryman Jacques Kallis as a 38-year-old at the Sydney Thunder in 2014, while AB de Villiers also played six games for the Brisbane Heat in 2019-20.
Du Plessis played one game for the Melbourne Renegades in 2012, but has since been considered a target for clubs.
He contemplated taking up a deal withthe Perth Scorchers three years ago, but at the time decided that the lengthy season schedule was too much of an obstacle.
However under the BBL's new draft rules, players can still nominate for the $340,000 platinum-level salary while only being available for a certain section of the season.
Clubs also hold the right to retain one of their current international stars, meaning the likes of Rashid Khan and Alex Hales are unlikely to leave Adelaide or the Thunder.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.