England allrounder Lewis Gregory has signed with the Brisbane Heat for the BBL, joining Somerset team-mate Tom Banton at the club.
Gregory has played eight T20Is, the most recent during the series against Pakistan in September, and has also had spells at the Pakistan Super League and Bangladesh Premier League.
“He was quite sought after so we’re very pleased he is coming to us,” the Heat coach Darren Lehmann said. “He has built a very respectable reputation as a finisher with the bat for Somerset in the Vitality Blast T20 competition, and he is skillful with the ball as well as having good pace.”
“It’s great adding another experienced performer into the group. He’s performed quite well in the overseas T20 leagues he has played in and had a good taste of Australian conditions last season as captain of the English Lions team that was out here on tour.”
Exactly when Gregory is available for the tournament will depend on whether he is included in the England squad for the limited-overs tour of South Africa that runs until December 9. International players arriving for the BBL – possibly except those coming from New Zealand which has a travel bubble with parts of Australia – will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
Gregory said: “I’ve enjoyed the challenge of adapting to conditions when I played in the BPL and PSL and got some good insights into Australian conditions during the Lions tour so I’m certainly excited to be heading to the Heat.”
The club confirmed last week that AB de Villiers would not return for this year’s tournament. Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman is the third overseas player in the Heat squad with teams now allowed to field three in their XIs for the next two seasons.
The English game is providing a rich source of overseas players for this year’s BBL. Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tom Curran and James Vince will all be taking part. Jonny Bairstow may also join the Melbourne Stars.
The reworked schedule for the tournament is expected to be released later this week with the competition due to start around December 10. It will take place in rolling hubs across the country depending on border restrictions with flexibility built in to take advantage of any further loosening of restrictions during January.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo