New Zealand’s explosive batsman and skipper, Brendon McCullum, signed a 3-year contract with the Brisbane Heat to play in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
The Black Cap’s skipper has played 3 matches for Brisbane Heat earlier in BBL|01 and is yet again set to join the team for BBL|05. He also resumes ties with his ex-teammate Daniel Vettori who happens to be the coach of Brisbane Heat. These two played alongside each other in the inaugural season of BBL as well as throughout their illustrious New Zealand careers. McCullum’s availability would be determined in due course when playing schedules are finalized.
On the news of McCullum’s entry in the Brisbane Heat, Vettori commented: “I’m as aware as anyone that ‘Baz’ has international commitments to juggle, but we’re looking forward to seeing him back in teal during the season.”
“I know Darren Lehmann really valued his input during that first season when it was all new and we were putting things together, and I’ve no doubt that our current playing group will enjoy what he has to offer in terms of his experience, leadership, and on-field success.”
“We’ve spoken a lot recently and he’s very pleased with the prospect of returning to the BBL for the Heat. He’s kept an eye on things over the past few seasons so we’re very keen to have him back into the fold and enjoy the opportunities that it brings.”
“He’s a world-class batsman who has that explosiveness that can change a game. Put him alongside Chris Lynn, Nathan Reardon, and Ben Cutting and you have a pretty decent T20 batting line-up.”
Brendon McCullum was a key element in New Zealand’s success in the World Cup, finishing runner-up to Australia. He is in an explosive form and became the batsman with the highest no. sixes in International T20 in the match against England. He scored 2140 runs in 71 matches at an average of 35.66 and strike rate of 136.21 which shows the consistency with which he scores runs.
McCullum seems to be pretty excited to wear the Brisbane Heat shirt again. He said: “I’m certainly looking forward to linking up with the Heat again,’’ he said from England, where he will play for Warwickshire in the English domestic T20 competition.
“Apart from Brett Lee breaking my nose in the first-ever game, I enjoyed the experience of being part of the inaugural year when it was all a bit unknown and there was a lot of excitement and buzz about the BBL.”
“The competition has really developed quickly since then and from what I have seen, the standard is right up there with the best in the world.”
“When Dan broached the idea of a longer term deal, I was pretty open to things. My wife comes from Lismore and our family have spent a fair bit of time over there during the past few years.”
“There are some big games ahead for the Black Caps with the Test series in Australia, but it will be good to know that the BBL is on after that. From what I have seen, the fans love the competition and so I’m looking forward to them cheering us on at the Gabba.”
The Heat has now announced 11 players, with West Indian leg-spinner Samuel Badree, the ICC’s number one ranked T20 bowler, the other International signing.
Brisbane Heat BBL|05 Squad: Samuel Badree (international), Nick Buchanan, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Andrew Fekete, Peter Forrest, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum (international) Jimmy Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Mark Steketee.