BRISBANE: The Brisbane Heat has signed Pakistani ace bowler Yasir Shah as replacement player for the 2017-18 Big Bash League (BBL) to get underway in December.
The Heat will begin their Big Bash campaign against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on December 20.
Shah was the second quickest bowler in Test history to take 150 wickets and was once ranked the No.1 bowler in the world. Shah has signed with Brisbane as an international replacement player for BBL.
The 31-year-old will travel to Brisbane to train with the Heat alongside fellow Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan. The Heat decided to sign Shah as a replacement player in case the improving Khan is elevated to Pakistan’s Twenty20 squad and is unavailable for selection.
Under BBL rules, teams are only allowed to field two international players, but can have four on their books, and the Heat already have Kiwi gun Brendon McCullum.
If McCullum or Khan are unavailable at any stage, Shah could be drafted into the team.
“Having Yasir agree to join us as a replacement player means that we can plan for the series with some certainty,’’ news.com.au quoted Heat coach Dan Vettori as saying.
“Shadab Khan has been going from strength to strength for Pakistan since signing with us and there is the possibility he could be required for international duty during the BBL.
“Having an experienced ‘like for like’ player such as Yasir to call upon means we can hopefully have continuity with our playing plans.
“He’s a very accomplished player in Test, one day and T20 formats, and having him around will also benefit the slow bowlers in our squad, especially someone like Mitch Swepson who is a young bowler rapidly gaining more experience transitioning between white and red ball cricket.”
Shah has 165 Test wickets at 29.44 in just 28 matches and has snared 60 career wickets in T20 at an economy rate of 6.71. – APP