Heat Secure Zaman | Brisbane Heat - BBL
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Heat Secure Zaman

31 December 2021

The Brisbane Heat will count on a Happy New Year after signing a leading T20 International batsman as a replacement player for the KFC Big Bash League.

English batter Tom Abell’s stay in the BBL has been cut short, with his knee injury proving more serious than initially indicated and he has returned home to the UK to recover from a damaged lateral ligament.

In his place, Pakistan top order batter Fakhar Zaman has signed on to play three matches for the Heat, with his first game for the club penciled in against the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong on January 6.

A left-handed batter, Zaman has played 175 T20 games with a career strike-rate of 132.96. He has played 64 T20 Internationals, 53 One Day Internationals and three Tests to date.

After originally joining the Pakistan navy where he currently holds an honourary rank of Lieutenant, his cricket career took off through a string of ODI highlights.

In July 2018, he became the first Pakistan batter to score a double century in an ODI and in the same tournament against Zimbabwe, eclipsed the record of Sir Viv Richards to reach 1000 runs in ODIs in the fewest innings.

Playing against South Africa in the second ODI last year, Fakhar scored 193 which was the highest individual score while chasing in an ODI, surpassing the 185 scored by Shane Watson against Bangladesh.

He partly attributes his rapid development on working alongside former Brisbane Heat batting trump Brendon McCullum at the Lahore Qualanders in the Pakistan Super League.

Brisbane Heat coach Wade Seccombe said the club looked forward to bringing Zaman into the squad for the remainder of the competition.

“It’s great to have a player of his class available for us at relatively short notice. We’re naturally disappointed to lose Tom though and wish him a speedy recovery back home in England,’’ he said.

“Like all the clubs, we certainly value the commitment the international players make to come to play in the BBL and it was a real shame to lose Tom so early in the tournament.”

“Fakhar will join us in Melbourne ahead of the game against the Renegades. Due to Queensland’s current border restrictions, he will need to spend 14 days outside of the State before he can play in Queensland.

“We are pleased he will be with us for what are shaping as key games.” 

“He is a classy performer who gets the job done in the teams he has played for so we are confident he can settle in quickly.”

The Heat are currently preparing in Hobart for tomorrow's New Year's Day clash with the in-form Hobart Hurricanes.