Bat-maker Brown carves out instant reputation

Heat second-gamer Josh Brown reveals he carved the bat himself that he used to launch six sixes in a breakout knock at the Gabba that wowed Aussie legend and his hero Adam Gilchrist

"I've just found my new favourite player… I love him!"  

Brisbane Heat opener Josh Brown made such an impression at the Gabba on New Year's Day that he had one of the most destructive cricketers to ever grace the field fawning over his performance.

That quote came from Australia legend Adam Gilchrist, who couldn't contain his excitement on Fox Cricket commentary after the fourth of Brown's six sixes.

The second-gamer's 62 off 23 balls (at the express strike rate of 270) against the Sydney Sixers powered the Heat to their highest-ever total (5-224) and the fifth-highest in the KFC BBL's history.  

And coincidently for the 29-year-old, the feeling is mutual.

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"He was my favourite player growing up," Brown said of Gilchrist. 

"I remember taking time off school to watch him at the Gabba. 

"It's pretty crazy to have those sorts of people looking at me thinking, where's this guy been?" 

The day after his whirlwind knock, Brown addressed reporters at the Cooper Cricket Warehouse in northern Brisbane, where he works as a bat maker and repairer.

Image Id: 9FF343AB76C844E7832D5A821CAF13AC Image Caption: Josh Brown signs autographs for fans after his BBL debut in Cairns // Getty

Since his ascension into Brisbane teal, Brown has been tasked with repairing many of the Heat players' damaged willows.  

And soon he might be asked to make a few as well, as the blade he used to smoke the Sixers on Sunday night was some of his own handiwork.  

"I actually made that one, the 'Bison'," Brown said.

"A mid-to-high middle. Probably about 2lb 12oz I reckon.  

"(And) a very skinny handle. Which some people don’t like, but it works for me." 

Viewers were paying attention too, with Brown revealing his 23-ball effort had won the small business 35 new sales in a three-hour period.  

Brown earned his Heat contract off the back of his stellar form in last year's KFC T20 Max competition – Queensland Cricket's new Premier league designed to be a pathway to the BBL for aspiring local players.

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In his nine matches for Northern Suburbs, he belted 447 runs at a strike rate of 211.8, clearing the rope an astonishing 41 times.  

Having dominated the grade scene in Brisbane for several seasons, Brown sought out former Heat captain Chris Lynn for some advice on how to get the attention on those who matter. 

Referring to club cricket, Lynn's advice was: "If you're going off in a Twenty20, make sure you get a big score – hit 140, 150."

Ironically, it's the hole left by Lynn at the top of Brisbane's batting order that the Heat will hope Brown can fill for the foreseeable future.  

He made his BBL debut in the Heat's opening match of the BBL|12 against the Renegades in Cairns, scoring seven from 10 balls.  

Brown wasn't selected for the matches that followed but he was brought back into the XI alongside Nathan McSweeney for the clash on January 1.  

McSweeney, who now plies his trade with South Australia, is a former teammate of Brown at club side Norths and the pair combined for a 73-run stand against the Sixers.

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"(It's a) pretty impressive thing to do in his second game," McSweeney said following the Heat's 15-run win.  

"I had the best seat in the house, down the other end for all of it.  

"He's done it in grade cricket for two or three years. His ball striking is unbelievable and the Gabba saw it tonight."