Matador One-Day Cup Player of the Tournament Marnus Labuschagne has signed with the Brisbane Heat, completing the club's roster some six weeks out from the beginning of the new KFC Big Bash season.
Labuschagne, who has been in superb touch with the Queensland Bulls in both List A and first-class cricket, adds another middle-order option to the Heat's group – an area that has also been strengthened by the addition of former Strikers batsman Alex Ross.
"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," the 22-year-old 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."
Labuschagne earned Player-of-the-Tournament honours during last month's Matador Cup following a string of match-winning half-centuries, helping Queensland reach the final, which they ultimately lost.
Those performances were closely watched by Heat coach Daniel Vettori.
"Marnus is a skilful batsmen who showed us in the Matador Cup that he can adapt successfully in a variety of conditions," said Vettori.
"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, 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.
The Heat are set to play two practice games against the Hobart Hurricanes on the Sunshine Coast on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17.
Their opening game of the BBL is at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, December 21 against the Strikers, with their first home match at the Gabba against the Hurricanes on Friday December 30.
Brisbane Heat BBL|06 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 (capt; International), James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.
The KFC T20 Big Bash League remains a family favourite event for summer with General Admission prices staying in place since the competition's first season, coming in at $8 for kids, $22 for adults and $48 for a family pass (2 adults & 2 kids).
Tickets for this season's Brisbane Heat matches at the Gabba can be purchased from Ticketmaster.com.au
International cricket is more affordable than ever this summer, with adult tickets from $30, kids from $10 and family packages from $65 across every day of international cricket. Price for purchase at match. Transaction fee from $6.95 applies to online and other purchases. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.