The Brisbane Heat have announced the re-signing of six key players ahead of BBL07.
Joe Burns, Jimmy Peirson, Mitchell Swepson, Sam Heazlett, Mark Steketee and Marnus Labuschagne have all recommitted to the Heat for this season.
Peirson, Swepson, Heazlett, Steketee and Labuschagne have had their contracts extended by three-years while Burns was handed a new three-year deal.
Heat coach Daniel Vettori praised the players’ commitment to the team and said it was a sign of a promising future in the Queensland capital.
“We feel we are building something special with the current crop of players we have at the Brisbane Heat, and by re-signing Joe, Jimmy, Mitch, Mark, Sam and Marnus it gives our squad stability for the next few Big Bash League seasons,” Vettori said.
“It is fantastic we can reward someone like Joe Burns who was a key member of the Heat side that won the competition in BBL02, while we also continue to invest in young talent like Sam Heazlett and Mitchell Swepson who have been recognised as international players.”
Each of the players who re-signed have come through Queensland’s cricket youth pathways.
Vettori said this kind of loyalty was rare given the nature of T20 franchise cricket.
“[T]here will constantly be player turnover from season to season, however if we can continue to keep our locally-based players together, then it will help develop the values and culture we are building at the club,” he said.
The Heat still have five roster spots to be filled, with Vettori and fellow Kiwi and Heat coach Shane Bond to cast a keen eye over the options as the JLT One-Day Cup kicks into gear.
Their job becomes even more complicated by the fact that their star duo, Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn are racing the clock to be fit for the tournament.
McCullum had surgery on his arm and is expected to be ready for the Heat’s first game, but Lynn is less certain.
BBL07 will begin on December 19.