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Heat Squad Assembled

06 January 2022

The Brisbane Heat will unveil up to 10 debutants tonight as they put aside their COVID-interrupted preparations to tackle the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong.

The Heat were forced to postpone last night’s clash with the Sydney Sixers on the Gold Coast after 12 players and coach Wade Seccombe tested positive to COVID-19 and were forced into seven days isolation.

The club has assembled a 14-player squad for tonight’s match, which starts at 5.05pm Queensland time.

Tom Cooper will captain the team in the absence of Jimmy Peirson, while the Heat will welcome Pakistan top order batsman Fakhar Zaman for his first game in the KFC Big Bash League.

The potential debutants include two former Adelaide Strikers players in Jake Lehmann and David Grant, while Queensland Bulls squad members Bryce Street, Lachy Pfeffer, Jack Clayton and Will Prestwidge are also in line to don the teal for the first time.

If 19-year-old quick Will Prestwidge plays, it sets up the rare scenario of brothers opposing each other in a BBL game, with former Heat quick Jack Prestwidge now at the Renegades.

Others in line to play their first BBL game include Western Suburbs allrounder Steve McGiffin, Toombul paceman Ronan McDonald and Western Suburbs left-arm spinner Paddy Dooley. Left-arm wrist spinner Jack Wood also joins the group for the first time this season after making his BBL debut last summer.

Heat coach James Hopes, who steps into the head coaching role with Seccombe currently in isolation, said the squad was ready to seize whatever opportunities come their way.

“We’re excited as a group, probably a bit nervous as individuals, but everyone is accepting of the circumstances and is raring to go,’’ he said.

“All of the players can look at this experience as an opportunity to improve, to test their skills, and simply enjoy the chance to play in the BBL and have some fun.”

“We’re grateful to everyone who has got us to this point. Our thoughts are with the players and Wade who are in isolation and we’re looking forward to doing our best for them and for the Heat fans and supporters.”

The Heat have also invited a further six players to be on call for the remainder of the tournament in the event that further replacements may be needed.

The Norths trio of Josh Brown, Noah McFadyen and Nikhil Chaudhary, University of Queensland paceman Will Sanders, Wests batsman Sam Truloff and Gold Coast allrounder Hugo Burdon will provide additional depth. Burdon was previously named as an Local Replacement Player earlier in the tournament.

Chaudhary, 25, represented Punjab at List A and T20 level in India before relocating to Australia where he has been mentored by former Test spinner Nathan Hauritz who is coach of Norths in the KFC Queensland Premier Cricket competition.

McFadyen, an 18-year-old allrounder, played for the Cricket Australia XI during the winter in the Top End Series in Darwin and was named in the extended Australian Under-19 squad that prepared for the upcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies.

 

Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Renegades,
Tonight, 5.05pm Qld time
Geelong

26. Tom Cooper (c)
84. Jack Clayton (debut)
38. Paddy Dooley (debut)
22. David Grant (debut)
5. Sam Heazlett
13. Jake Lehmann (debut)
78. Ronan McDonald (debut)
99. Steve McGiffin (debut)
33. Lachlan Pfeffer (wk), (debut) 
8. Will Prestwidge (debut)
24. Bryce Street
88. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (int)
45. Jack Wood
39. Fakhar Zaman (int) (debut)