Queensland batsman Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot to the boundary during the second day of the Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Gabba.
Queensland batsman Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot to the boundary during the second day of the Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at the Gabba. DAVE HUNT

Heat adds finishing touches to BBL06 roster

THE Brisbane Heat has completed its BBL06 playing roster with the signing of Queensland Bulls batsman Marnus Labuschagne for the 2016-17 Big Bash League season.

The 22-year-old right-hand batsman was the player of last month's domestic one-day tournament - posting three half-centruries - and his batting and all-round skills earned him the seal of approval from Heat coach Daniel Vettori.

Labuschagne, whose family emigrated from South Africa to Brisbane when he was in primary school, grew up in the Redlands, where he plays Premier Cricket for the Tigers.

Vettori said Labuschagne's versatility was one of the determining factors in awarding him the final spot on the 18-player list.

"Marnus is a skilful batsmen who showed us in the Matador Cup that he can adapt successfully in a variety of conditions,” he said.

"He's a very good fielder, either in close or further from the bat, who can make an impact.

"He can also pull on the wicketkeeping gloves in an emergency and is handy spin or seam bowler. It's always handy in a tournament like the BBL to have players with a number of strings to their bow.”

Labuschagne said he was thrilled to be a part of the Heat for the first time.

"I've been to a fair few BBL games as a spectator and had the chance to do some training around the group in the past, but this will be a whole new level,” he said.

"I've been working hard for a few seasons now to improve my batting and overall game so this will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from being around some of the best players in the world. I can't wait,” he said.

The Heat will now finalise their pre-season playing and training schedule, which will include two practice games against the Hobart Hurricanes on the Sunshine Coast on Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17.

Brisbane's opening game of the BBL will be at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, December 21, against the Strikers before travelling to Sydney to play defending champions the Sydney Thunder at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday, December 28.

The Heat will play their first game at the Gabba against the Hobart Hurricanes on Friday, December 30, followed by the Sydney Sixers on Tuesday, January 3, the Perth Scorchers on Wednesday, January 11, before finishing with the Melbourne Renegades on Friday, January 20.

BRISBANE HEAT BBL06 SQUAD:

Samuel Badree (international)

Joe Burns

Ben Cutting

Alex Doolan

Andrew Fekete

Luke Feldman

Jason Floros

Sam Heazlett

Marnus Labuschagne

Josh Lalor

Chris Lynn

Brendon McCullum (captain; international)

James Peirson

Nathan Reardon

Alex Ross

Mark Steketee

Mitchell Swepson

Jack Wildermuth


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