English batsman Dan Lawrence will play his last game for the Heat tonight before beginning his preparations as part of the English Test squad to tour Sri Lanka in January.
Lawrence was originally signed as a replacement international player to cover for the absence of Tom Banton while he completed England’s limited overs tour of South Africa. Banton subsequently withdrew from his Heat deal due to “bubble fatigue” after a long period in and out of bio-secure hubs.
English allrounder Lewis Gregory is now with the Heat squad and will be in contention to make his BBL debut tonight against Hobart depending on how he has recovered from his first training session last night after exiting from two weeks of quarantine on Christmas Day.
Fellow English international batsman Joe Denly will finish quarantine on Wednesday in Perth and fly to Brisbane where he is expected to be available for the Saturday 2 January clash with the Sydney Sixers at the Gabba.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel, who lives in the northern beaches region of Sydney and qualifies as a local player, has been in two weeks quarantine in northern NSW to comply with COVID-19 lockdown requirements following the outbreak in Sydney ,and will finish that period on New Year’s Day this Friday when he rejoins the Heat.
The South African international has been returning from ankle surgery prior to the BBL and will step up his preparations to play as soon as he is cleared by Heat medical staff to be available for selection.
Fellow seamer Ben Laughlin will also be available again from 1 January after exiting the team Hub to be with his family at Christmas. He will miss tonight’s game against the Hurricanes while completing the necessary isolation procedures to rejoin the squad in their Brisbane Hub.
Heat captain Chris Lynn has targeted the 14 January game at Marvel Stadium against the Melbourne Renegades for his comeback match after sustaining a lower grade hamstring strain prior to the match against Adelaide earlier in the week on Wednesday.
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann said preparations remained on track for the six ‘home’ games at the Gabba and Metricon Stadium, starting with tonight’s clash with the Hurricanes.
“It was a tough loss against the Strikers the other night because I thought we fought back superbly with the bat through Jimmy Peirson and Mujeeb after a very sound bowling effort.”
“We are taking plenty of positives out of the three games we have played so far. It’s a squad game and we are ready to back the 11 players who take the field in each game to demonstrate their experience and execute their skills.”
Lehmann thanked Lawrence for his contributions in and around the squad during the opening weeks of the tournament.
“Dan is on the way to be a very good player for England, and I’ve enjoyed working with him. We certainly thank him for making the sacrifice to come out and be involved with the Heat for the start of the competition.
“Like everyone involved in the BBL, we’re grateful to all the internationals who have made the commitment to come and be a part of the League this season and certainly value their contributions.
“Dan has been excellent around the squad and we wish him every success in Sri Lanka. We’re looking forward to getting Lewis and Joe into the squad now and getting Morne up and running for those key games ahead.”
Tonight’s clash with the Hurricanes is the first of back-to-back games at the Gabba, with the two teams meeting again on Wednesday evening in what will be a Hobart ‘home’ game.
If selected in the starting side tonight, Gregory, keeper/batsman Lachy Pfeffer and allrounder James Bazley would make their BBL debuts.