The 22-year-old Gold Coast Dolphins product was announced today at Metricon Stadium which will also make its debut this summer as an International and BBL|08 venue.
The former Australian Under-19 player impressed in his handful of games for the Bulls during the JLT One Day Cup, taking eight wickets at 23.62, but more importantly demonstrating calmness under pressure in match conditions.
It was that presence which confirmed to Heat coach Dan Vettori that the squad would benefit from adding the left-arm spinner to their ranks.
“The game that probably summed it up for me was the one which everyone remembers at Hurstville Oval when D’Arcy Short produced that remarkable innings of 257 against the Bulls,’’ he said.
“While everyone was justifiably excited by the innings, the thing that probably got a bit overlooked was that Matt held his own to take 3-50 from eight overs and dismiss D’Arcy in the process. When you consider that was just his second game for Queensland, it indicated that he has a pretty good temperament for the game.”
“It is handy having a left-arm spinner in the squad and again provides some options and variety for us to consider.”
Kuhnemann made his List A debut last season, playing for the Cricket Australia XI against a full-strength NSW side during the 2017-18 tournament where he took 1-33.
The Gold Coast local was thrilled to be unveiled at the new home of cricket at Australia’s favourite holiday destination.
“it’s a massive thrill to sign with the Heat,’’ he said. “I had been planning to buy tickets to be at the two Heat games on the Gold Coast but now maybe I can start to dream about playing in them instead.”
“Playing all my cricket with the Gold Coast Dolphins, I know that having top level cricket here will be a game changer for the local fans here as well as in Brisbane. Having an outstanding venue at the Gabba, and adding in a new stadium here, is enormous for cricket.”
Metricon Stadium will host its first game of International cricket this Saturday night when Australia takes on South Africa in a T20 International.
The venue will also host BBL cricket for the first time, with the Brisbane Heat playing two games and the Melbourne Stars also playing a match.
Kuhnemann said he had enjoyed bowling at Heat training sessions in the past few years when invited to work out with the squad, and was looking forward to learning more from Vettori, one of the game’s great left-arm spinners.
“Having Dan there is going to help me develop my skills, no doubt. He is a legend of the game so I will be keen to learn as much as I can from him and all the other coaches and players,” he said.
The Heat will open BBL|08 at the Gabba when they host defending champions Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday 19 December in the first game of the competition, followed by back to back matches at Metricon Stadium against Hobart Hurricanes (Saturday 22 December) and a New Year’s Day clash with the Sydney Sixers.
As well as the opening match of BBL|08 against the Strikers, Brisbane will host the Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers and the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek, with the BBL remaining a favourite with families. The Brisbane Heat’s entry level ticket prices remain unchanged for an eighth straight season at $8 for kids, $22 for adults and $48 for families.
The Heat have enjoyed sell-out crowds for nine of their past 11 games at the Gabba, so fans are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets through Ticketek to avoid disappointment.
The Heat’s 18 contracted players for BBL|08 are:
Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Sam Heazlett, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum (int), James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matthew Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (int).
Click here to view the Brisbane Heat's full BBL and WBBL schedules.