Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
The Brisbane Heat have emerged from the inaugural KFC Big Bash League International player draft with a trio of powerful T20 batting options.
English wicket-keeper batter Sam Billings, who impressed with the Sydney Thunder last year, and experienced New Zealand left-hander Colin Munro, a championship winner with the Perth Scorchers, were picked as Brisbane’s Platinum and Gold picks in the opening two rounds.
The Heat opted to not retain Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman who was selected by the Melbourne Renegades with their second round pick after they chose Liam Livingstone as the first pick overall.
Billings, currently captain of the Oval Invincibles in The Hundred, will be available for the first half of the season while Munro, who will be one of the most experienced players in the BBL, will also be available for the opening half of the summer.
Both batsmen have career T20 strike-rates more than 130, and have played Test, ODI and T20 International for their respective countries.
Munro has played 347 T20 matches in his career, with the 35-year-old having starred in the Indian Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, The Hundred and other T20 leagues around the country.
The Heat added powerful English left-hander Ross Whiteley with a bronze level pick at number 27, for his inaugural stint in the BBL.
Whiteley, who bills himself in his social media profiles as a part-time handyman, has played first class cricket for Hampshire, Derbyshire and Worcestershire, and will be available for the entire BBL tournament.
The 33-year-old, who is also a left-arm medium pace bowler, is currently in action for the Southern Brave in The Hundred.
He has played 177 career T20 games, with a strike-rate of 141.25.
He is no stranger to Australian conditions, playing four seasons in Adelaide Premier Cricket, and attending the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy where the Heat assistant coach noted his clean-hitting ability.
The club now has two spots left on its 18-man contract list for BBL|12.
Those spots are set to be filled once the KFC T20 Max competition has been concluded on Sunday 4 September.
The Final at Allan Border Field will be preceded by the Brisbane Heat Fan Day.
Brisbane will also have the capacity to sign Local Replacement players in the event of injury or contracted players such as captain Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Mitch Swepson being required for national duty.
In the past six months, that trio as well as paceman Mark Steketee, wicket-keeper Jimmy Peirson, spinner Matthew Kuhnemann and new signing Renshaw have either played for Australia or Australia ‘A’ or been included in national squads.
Heat memberships and public tickets are on sale now through Ticketek for the BBL and WBBL this summer.
The Heat has maintained general admission level pricing at $22 for adults and $8 for kids, marking a $0 increase since the BBL launched in 2011, while also increasing entry level capacity at the Gabba to 53 per cent.
Ticket prices for WBBL games have also remained the same at $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
2022-23 Brisbane Heat Squad
BBL|12 signings (to date)
Sam Billlings (International)
Colin Munro (International)
Ross Whiteley (International)
Usman Khawaja (new)
Matthew Renshaw (new)