Brisbane Heat reveal recruiting plans for new T20 season
NOT all of yesterday's big bash news surrounded Australian opener David Warner's alleged punching of England batsman Joe Root in a bar in the early hours of Sunday.
With Warner set to learn his fate at a Cricket Australia disciplinary hearing overnight, defending Big Bash League champions, Brisbane Heat, announced it had made a strong start to its recruiting for version three of the Twenty20 competition.
Twelve players, including eight of the victorious 12-man squad from the final against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA, have put pen to paper.
They include big-hitting opener, Luke Pomersbach, who hammered 397 runs at 44.11 and scored the first century in Heat history, 112 not out in the semi-final against the Renegades, during an impressive debut season.
New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori fills one of the two international vacancies, in what will be the second year of his three-year deal.
An Achilles injury prevented Vettori playing a single game last year, but he's bowling his way back into fitness playing in the Champions Trophy.
While the Heat squad is taking shape early, coach Darren Lehmann said there was still plenty of work to be done before it was finalised.
"It's a solid position to be in at this stage, having 12 of the squad that won last year under contract, but there are plenty of opportunities left for a few batsmen, a multi-skilled player, and perhaps another fast bowler or two," he said from England, where is coaching Australia A..
"Now the contracting window is open, we'll move as quickly as we can to secure the blokes we have identified as priorities.
"Longer term we're pretty comfortable with our list, but we're certainly looking to extend the existing deals of some of the players we currently have on the books."
In other BBL signings, the Scorchers have agreed terms with Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Patrick Cummins, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Tom Triffitt.
The future of two of the Scorchers veterans, spinner Brad Hogg, and batsman Mike Hussey, is still to be decided.
Hogg is reportedly keen to go round again, while Hussey is being head-hunted by the Sydney Thunder, who did not win a game last season.
The Adelaide Strikers has also retained 11 of the squad that just missed last season finals including Australian representative Phil Hughes.
The BBL franchises must sign at least 10 players by July 19 and have an 18-man roster by December 6.
Meanwhile, Mother Nature did Australia's hope of defending its Champion Trophy title no favours after yesterday's clash against New Zealand was abandoned because of rain.
It means Australian must now beat Sri Lanka in its final game, and hope other results go its way, to have any chance of making the semi-finals.