England batsman Tom Banton has secured a two-year contract with the Brisbane Heat in Australia's Big Bash League.
Banton, who is currently with the ODI squad in South Africa, played for the Heat earlier this year. He will represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League later this year.
What the Heat said about Banton
“I think anyone who saw Tom during his seven games for the Heat in the BBL would agree that he is a special player and someone we think can play an important role for us over the next two years,” said Heat head coach Darren Lehmann.
“We wanted to move quickly and are very pleased that Tom has agreed to terms. He's a good young lad and we think his cricket will only get better from here. He's got his first IPL coming up and he's in the English set-up, so we know how highly he is thought of around the world.”
Lehmann also revealed the Heat's ambition to have former South African captain AB de Villiers return for the 2020-21 BBL. De Villiers and Banton were key to the Heat's 2019-20 campaign.
“AB was very positive about the prospects of returning to the Heat, so that is encouraging. We will keep working on things to see what the options are ahead of BB10. We certainly didn't have the type of finish to our season that we would have hoped for, and we know our fans were as disappointed as we were. We've spent some time since then reflecting on what worked and what we could improve on, and the best ways to achieve the goals we have set ourselves,” added Lehmann.
Banton will join Kolkata later this month. Fellow Englishmen Eoin Morgan and Harry Gurney have also been recruited by the Knight Riders, who have won the IPL twice. They will be captained by wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik this year. West Indian duo Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, Australia's Pat Cummins and New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson are also in the squad. Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is among the franchise's homegrown talent.