Sixers eye ex-Test batsman North

In demand: Marcus North plays for the Perth Scorchers in last year’s Big Bash League. Photo: Dallas Kilponen DAKFormer Test batsman Marcus North is likely to join the Sydney Sixers for this summer’s Twenty20 Big Bash League.
Nanjing Night Net

Franchises are in the midst of the player-contracting window for next season’s tournament – the first to be broadcast on free-to-air television – and 2011-12 champions the Sixers are understood to be in talks with North as they seek to complete their squad list within the $1.05 million retainer pool.

The 33-year-old veteran of 21 Tests was previously at last season’s finalists Perth Scorchers and notably quit the Western Australia captaincy last October after the Scorchers’ Champions League campaign unravelled in South Africa.

Elsewhere, the Sixers have retained the services of veteran crowd-puller Brett Lee despite suggestions he may have been heading across town to rivals Sydney Thunder.

The mission to transform the ANZ Stadium-based side from basketcase to boom franchise could, however, see Australian opener David Warner lost to the Sixers. The Thunder have already made the key acquisition of Michael Hussey, and have Test captain Michael Clarke on their books.

Although Warner, like Clarke, would only be available for one or perhaps two games if on international duty this summer, his return to the electric green would be another boost for last season’s BBL cellar dwellers.

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