The circuitous cricketing route of Chris Sabburg took another turn today with the Toombul allrounder earning the final 18th playing contract spot with the Brisbane Heat for the second season in a row.
Sabburg’s all-round bowling, batting and fielding skills earned him the nod from Heat coach Stuart Law in awarding the last spot on the Brisbane contracted list following today’s final round of the KFC T20 Challenge.
The T20 Challenge, now in its third year, provides XXXX GOLD Premier Grade and regional players with an opportunity to impress the Heat, and also the Queensland Cricket selectors, in the ultra limited over format.
The 23-year-old Sabburg, who was a member of the Heat side that won the KFC T20 Big Bash League title last season, had not been contracted before today after winning the $20,000 one-year deal last summer.
Today was a repeat of his cricketing good fortune, with Law announcing his decision prior to the Final of the T20 Challenge between the Southern Blaze and the Western Burners at Valley DCC at Ashgrove.
Sabburg, who impressed Law during the Heat’s winless Champions League T20 campaign in India in September, was grateful to again be given the opportunity to play for the Heat in BBL|03.
“To be honest I didn’t think I was much of a chance this time. I missed the second round with injury and hadn’t really dominated in the other games,’’ he said.
“But I guess I bring versatility to the squad, and I know that I learned a lot from last year’s run to the title and then the Champions League experience,’’ Sabburg said.
“I look at this as another chance to show what I can do and hopefully bring something additional to the squad, whether it is with the bat, the ball or in the field.”
Law said he was pleased with the balance of the squad following the addition of Sabburg from the competition.
“Strawb showed us what he was capable of in India and I like that we have been able to add another slow bowler to the squad. He is a top fielder too and that is an area where you are able to get that 1% advantage that can prove crucial,’’ he said.
Law said he had been impressed with the quality of some of the performances during the T20 Challenge.
“Some of the young blokes have done well in their first appearance at this sort of level while the experienced Grade and country players have shown that they have something to offer too,’’ he said.
Among the individual awards presented today, Townsville’s Riley Ward claimed the fastest 50, off just 30 balls for the Country Inferno; Heat and Queensland Bulls paceman Cameron Gannon claimed the economy rate with 4.88 for the Western Burners, while former Heat and Bulls batsman Steve Paulsen claimed the batting strike rate award with a mark of 177, also for the Burners.
Sabburg, who hit 44 not out from 35 balls in the opening round for the Country Inferno, will link with T20 squad later this month as part of the build-up for Brisbane’s first game, the Final rematch between the Heat and Perth Scorchers at the Gabba on 22 December.
He has played six T20 games for the Heat.
Tickets for the Heat’s BBL|03 season go on sale tomorrow from 9am through Ticketmaster.com.au for their four home games across the school holidays in December and January.
2013-14 BRISBANE HEAT SQUAD
Sabburg Back For Heat
10 November 2013