Heat lock in young gun for two years

27 February 2019

Brisbane Heat re-sign Max Bryant following departures of coach Dan Vettori and Kiwi star Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum may have retired but the Brisbane Heat Bash Brothers will live on after the club secured Max Bryant on a two-year deal that takes him through to the end of the BBL|10 season.

Still just 19 years old, Bryant was a sensation in his first full KFC BBL season and was the team's second highest run scorer behind captain Chris Lynn in an underwhelming season for the Heat.

Bryant hammered 335 runs at a strike-rate of 150.22 opening the batting, with 42 fours and 14 sixes.

That strike-rate was the second-highest among the competition's top 50 scorers, underlining his burgeoning reputation as a powerplay specialist.

His most impressive knock for the summer saw him hit a career-best 71 not out from just 30 balls when he and Ben Cutting (81no from 30 balls) chased down the Melbourne Stars' total of 156 in a mind-boggling 10 overs to keep their season alive.

Bryant bashes speedy 71no

They ultimately fell short in their play-off push but with McCullum calling time on his BBL career, Bryant is set to take up the mantle of little Bash Brother to Lynn after two summers under the former New Zealand captain's wing.

"I really tried to do the basics well – keep my head still and play to my strengths – and that certainly helped me the further we went in the season," said Bryant, who turns 20 next month.

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"It was a fantastic opportunity to have been part of the club while Brendon McCullum was playing. He and Chris Lynn have been a big help throughout the past two seasons. Baz has done so much in his career and just the little things he passed on were great for me.

"I'm looking forward to making the most of whatever opportunities I get for the rest of the season and will then be very keen for a big off-season, so I can be ready to go again next summer."

The Heat will be looking for at least one new international next summer following McCullum's exit, with Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman also unconfirmed for next summer.

That made securing Bryant on a multi-year deal a priority for the Heat organisation, regardless of the change in head coach after Daniel Vettori also parted ways with the club after BBL|08.

Heat general manager Andrew McShea said: "I think everyone who saw his batting this season would agree he is a special player and the performance that he and Ben Cutting put on against the Melbourne Stars in our last home game was quite extraordinary.

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"We're delighted he has committed to the club long-term and believe he will provide plenty of enjoyment for our fans in the future. It's certainly exciting to add another Queensland player to our long-term playing roster."

Bryant, who turned own a contract with rugby league side the Gold Coast Titans to focus on cricket as a 17-year-old, burst onto the scene through the Cricket Australia XI side in the 2017 JLT One-Day Cup before starring for Australia in the Under-19 World Cup in early 2018.

He struck the fastest one-day fifty in Queensland's domestic limited-overs history when reached the mark in 23 balls for the Bulls in this summer's JLT Cup tournament.

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Brisbane Heat Men

Max Bryant