BBL 2020-21: Brisbane Heat re-sign Mujeeb Ur Rahman for upcoming season; AB de Villiers pulls out

BBL 2020-21: Brisbane Heat re-sign Mujeeb Ur Rahman for upcoming season; AB de Villiers pulls out

The Brisbane-based outfit will be looking to put up a good show this season after a disastrous campaign in the last edition where they finished seventh after managing just 6 wins in 14 games.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Mujeeb Ur Rahman. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Brisbane Heat have re-signed Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League. Along with Mujeeb, Heat have also signed up England’s batting sensation Tom Banton as their other overseas recruit. Both Banton and Mujeeb are currently in the UAE for the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mujeeb is a part of the Kings XI Punjab squad while Banton is playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. Unfortunately, neither of the two players has got enough chances to showcase their skills in the tournament so far. Mujeeb has played two matches so far and failed to pick any wicket while Banton has scored 18 runs in the two games he has played.

Heat also have an opportunity to sign up another overseas player after South Africa superstar AB de Villiers’ decision to pull out of the competition due to the impending arrival of a third child. According to the new rules, the BBL clubs could access funds from Cricket Australia to finance a deal for a third overseas player.

“While things initially looked fine for him to come back, there have been a few factors emerge which have changed everyone’s plans,” Heat head coach Darren Lehmann was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.

“The main one, aside from the challenges represented by COVID19 and international travel, is that AB and his wife Danielle are expecting their third child very soon. Naturally, we’re very pleased for them and know that the next few months will be a very special time for all,” he added.

Darren Lehmann welcomes Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Expressing his delight over re-signing Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the former Australia head coach said the Afghanistan bowler’s maturity has gone to a new level. Lehmann pointed out Mujeeb’s performance in this year’s Caribbean Premier League where he took 16 wickets at an average of 13.56 and an economy of 5.29 for Jamaica Tallawahs.

“He’s doing a lot of the little things as well as anyone, and his control and maturity have gone to a new level, I believe,” Lehmann said. “He was outstanding in the Caribbean Premier League recently when he was the second leading wicket-taker in the competition, and he’s shown in the IPL that he can handle the very best.

“We’re very pleased to have him back with us and with the BBL schedule potentially looking quite different to the usual format, his versatility and ability to create chances in a range of conditions will be very important for us,” he added.

Mujeeb is not new to playing in the BBL. He has previously played two seasons for the Heat in Australia’s premier T20 competition and picked up 15 wickets in 18 games while conceding 6.08 runs per over. The Brisbane-based outfit will be looking to put up a good show this season after a disastrous campaign in the last edition where they finished seventh after managing just 6 wins in 14 games.

Brisbane Heat squad (so far):

Tom Banton (Eng), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Tom Cooper (new), Matthew Kuhnemann, Ben Laughlin, Chris Lynn, James Peirson, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan), Jack Wildermuth (new).