The Victorian paceman has agreed to a two-year deal with the Heat after previously playing for the Melbourne Stars and most recently the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League.
A Test and One Day International player, Pattinson will resume his playing career after missing most of this season with a back injury that saw him undergo surgery in New Zealand late last year.
The 27-year-old consulted Christchurch orthopaedic surgeon Grahame Inglis, the same surgeon who successfully extended the playing career of former New Zealand fast bowler and Heat assistant coach Shane Bond as well as other Black Cap pace bowlers in Matt Henry and Hamish Bennett and allrounder Corey Anderson.
Pattinson has recovered well since his surgery and will begin bowling again during the winter.
Heat coach Dan Vettori said the club was delighted to attract a player of such calibre to the team.
“We identified some areas where we needed to improve on from last season, and James will help us deliver on some of that,’’ he said.
“James at his best is a handful for any batting side and we believe he will add another dimension to our club.’’
“Knowing how Shane and other bowlers have managed their career in similar circumstances will help us provide the right environment for him to deliver his best. As a senior player, James will also have the chance to do likewise and mentor some of our up and coming bowlers,’’ he said.
“I’m sure the Heat fans will make him very welcome when he arrives and we’re looking forward to some more exciting matches with James in our squad.”
Pattinson said he was enthusiastic about taking on a new challenge with the Heat.
“I’m looking forward to working with Dan and playing alongside Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn and the rest of the boys,’’ he said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunities I have had with the Renegades, and before them the Stars, and I thank them for the great support they have provided me over the seasons.
“But joining the Heat represents a fresh start and one I am really looking forward too. The Heat get fantastic support at their home games and that will be a buzz to be a part of again.”
“I’m feeling very good physically after the surgery and I’m looking forward to getting back into some bowling during the winter. The facilities at Allan Border Field are second to none so that will also be very helpful as I build towards the coming season,” he said.
Pattinson comes to the Heat with some illustrious feats to his name, as well as the ability to nudge the radar gun towards 150km/hr when in full stride.
He made his Test debut as a 21-year-old against New Zealand at the Gabba, taking the first five wickets of the Black Caps' second innings to finish with 5-27 and player-of-the-match honours.
Despite injury interruptions, he has taken 70 wickets at 26 in 17 Tests, as well as playing 15 ODIs and four T20Intl games for Australia.
His T20 career has seen him capture 34 wickets at a strike-rate of 17.8, with his express pace a feature of his ultra-short form cricket prowess.
The Heat have announced the following contracted players for BBL|08: Brendon McCullum (int), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Sam Heazlett, Shadab Khan (int), Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn, James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson