Heat complete signing blitz
Friday July 20, 2012
The Brisbane Heat have wrapped up their initial signings blitz for the second instalment of the KFC Big Bash League with West Indian fast bowler Kemar Roach, Australian batsman Peter Forrest and rising quick Cameron Gannon the latest recruits to have a zeal for teal.
Roach, 24, will join the Heat on a one-season deal while Forrest has signed for two seasons. Gannon, 23, is on a one-year contract after being on the Heat supplementary list last year.
Brisbane has now signed 15 players for the forthcoming T20 Big Bash League series.
The Heat have Dan Vettori, Alister McDermott, Nathan Hauritz, Dan Christian, Ryan Harris, Ben Cutting, Luke Pomersbach, Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, James Hopes, Chris Hartley, Shane Watson, Kemar Roach, Peter Forrest and Cameron Gannon as their recruits for BBL|02.
The Brisbane Cricket Ground will host another West Indian fast bowling powerhouse this summer, with Roach bouncing in on the famed Gabba pitch that the great Wes Hall once terrorised batsmen on.
Like Hall, who played for Queensland in 1961-62 and 1962-63, Roach is from Barbados and is famed for his pace and aggression on the field.
Roach becomes the second international signing for the Brisbane Heat, alongside Vettori.
Roach, who was coached by Heat mentor Darren Lehmann at the Deccan Chargers, has played 67 ODIs for the Windies, taking 67 wickets as well as claiming 70 wickets in 19 Tests.
The recruitment of Australian ODI batsman Forrest, currently serving as vice-captain for Australia ‘A’ on their tour of England, continues the Heat policy of re-signing players from its inaugural squad.
Although originally not considered a T20 specialist, Forrest captained the Heat in six matches last season when regular skipper James Hopes was injured.
Along the way, he top-scored in a close loss to the Perth Scorchers at the WACA with 59 off 42 balls, clubbed 33 not out off 18 balls against Hobart at the Gabba, and 33 off 27 balls against the Sydney Thunder to showcase his hitting ability.
The 199cm Gannon caught the eye of coach Darren Lehmann during last season’s Ryobi Cup for Queensland and also the KFC T20 Challenge series and Futures League T20 tournament.
Gannon starred with 4-36 off 12 overs in his first one-day game of the summer against WA in Perth and was retained for the remaining Ryobi Cup games before Christmas.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann confirmed Brisbane had completed their initial recruiting for the moment.
“We are super excited to come to terms with Kemar Roach for BBL|02,” he said.
“He’s a great young bloke and while he is still learning the T20 side of things, he’s done well at Test and ODI level and has those raw ingredients of pace and aggression that you want in a fast bowler,” Lehmann said.
“I think he will be a great addition to the Heat playing list and will give certainly the fans in Brisbane something to talk about when he comes along for the series. All going to plan he will play around five or six games which we expect him to make an impact in,” he said.
“I’m rapt that ‘Foz’ is back on deck. We knew he was a classy player but he came on in leaps and bounds last season, and while it was a rapid learning curve, his captaincy was very good.
“We know there’s every chance he will have Australian commitments this summer but whatever games we get out of him, they will be quality.”
“We had our eye on Ganno last year and I am keen to have him involved in the squad this time. He’s awkward to hit, a great athlete in the field for a big man and knows how to handle a bat.”
The Heat has now signed their initial allocation of players but will add their remaining three contract spots prior to completing their squad by November 30.
Lehmann said New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, an inaugural Heat squad member, remained on the team’s radar for the future.
“Unfortunately his commitments with New Zealand this time made it very hard for Baz to come back with us this time. We’ll miss him around the group because he bought a lot of fun and enjoyment to the team when he was with us. But he’s still keen to see what we can work out down the track so we’ll be staying in contact,” Lehmann said.
“We’ve left three spots open for the time being and will have a look at where we want to work on our depth and also see who else might be a good fit for the team. There are still a few options for us and a few discussions to have, but overall we’re very pleased with the line-up so far.”
Lehmann confirmed that one spot would be filled from this year’s KFC T20 Challenge, a four-team competition played across October and November featuring Queensland Bulls, Grade, Country, Warehouse and invited guest players which is set to have an expanded focus this summer.
“That comp is a nice fit for the Heat and Queensland Cricket in general. It gives more players an opportunity to play T20 and to get looked at, whether it is to earn a Heat contract or to be selected for the XXXX GOLD Bulls or the Queensland Country Brahmans,” he said.
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