Collingwood has officially signed local first-class cricketer and former Big Bash League leg-spinner Wil Parker.

Parker, 21, was eligible for the 2020 National Draft as a promising dual-code athlete, having represented Talent League club Eastern Ranges on 18 occasions the two years prior to his draft year.

The Croydon product instead took the cricket path and went on to make his first-class debut with Victoria during the 2019-2020 Sheffield Shield season.

Parker has four first-class Tests to his name, taking six wickets at an average of 32.00 to go with nine T20 appearances with the Hobart Hurricanes. His last notable appearance at the first-class level came against Pakistan when representing Victoria for a warm-up for the tourists match this summer.

Off-contract this year with Victoria, Parker's uncertain cricketing future has reportedly led to a return to football, with Collingwood swooping on Parker as a category B rookie.

It's understood the Magpies edged out the Western Bulldogs to lure the cricketer to the AFL.

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 20: Wil Parker of the Hurricanes bats during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena, on December 20, 2021, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

“We're pleased to have Wil join our program ahead of the upcoming season,” Pies GM Graham Wright said on Friday.“Wil was a talented junior footballer before pursuing cricket. He's now in a position where he is ready to return to football.“Wil has experience in an elite sporting environment and will fit seamlessly into our program. He will gradually integrate into training over the coming month or two as he transitions into a full-time AFL program. We look forward to seeing what he can bring to our environment.“Wil's signing today completes our list for the 2024 season.”

Given Parker hasn't played football in several years, the once-promising junior defender would come at little cost to the reigning premiers' salary cap as a category B signing.

Category B rookies can have a portion of their contracts paid outside of the hard cap and are also not restricted by signing windows, with clubs able to sign eligible players anytime during the year should they have a spot free on their list.

The Bulldogs found instant success in signing James O'Donnell ahead of the 2023 season, with the son of former Australian cricketer and St Kilda player Simon O'Donnell going on to play a dozen games under Luke Beveridge just months on from signing his first AFL contract.

Geelong's Mark Blicavs, Collingwood's Mason Cox and Carlton's Matt Owies are others who have crossed to the AFL from other codes as category B rookies.