Heat split with Lynn in Big Bash shock
The BBL's all-time top run scorer and most prolific six-hitter, Chris Lynn is seeking a new club after the Brisbane Heat opted not to offer him a new deal
11 May 2022, 10:05 AM AEST
After 11 years and more than 100 games, Chris Lynn and the Brisbane Heat have parted ways with the club deciding to move on from the KFC BBL's all-time leading run-scorer.
Lynn, who was a foundation player for the club and the first man to play 100 BBL games with the same team, played 102 BBL games for the Heat and also leads the competition for sixes hit.
The split marks a seismic shift for the Heat, who have built their franchise around the 32-year-old's bold and brash style of T20 cricket, but declined to offer the marquee player a new deal.
Former Test star Ian Healy, who heads Queensland's recruitment and retention committee, said it was a watershed moment for the Heat's evolution as a club.
"Chris Lynn will be missed by thousands, however, the decision we have made as a club is about building on the legacy that he leaves as a foundation player, captain and ambassador for the Heat," Healy said in a statement.
The break-up comes after Lynn's lucrative five-year deal, signed in 2017, expired. At the time the club labelled the signing "the biggest contract in BBL history" and was reportedly worth more than $1m.
The right-hander leaves a considerable mark on the club, having played almost half his games as captain, and having also been part of the title-winning side in BBL|02.
His six-hitting exploits at the peak of his powers created some of the BBL's most memorable moments – such as rocketing a Shaun Tait delivery over the Gabba roof – and elevated the league into must-watch television.
The Brisbane native is understood to be weighing up his options whether to find a new BBL club or seek to ply his trade abroad. He will spend this winter playing T20 cricket in the UK after signing with Northamptonshire.
Lynn launched bowlers over the rope 180 times in the BBL in a career tally of 3,005 BBL runs at an incredible strike-rate of 148.83 and average of 34.54, with one century to his name.
He also played three games for the Heat at the now defunct Champions League T20 tournament in 2013 following their BBL|02 title in 2012-13.
Lynn had two separate stints as captain of the Brisbane Heat, first in 2015-16 in BBL|05 at the peak of his powers, and again for three seasons between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (BBL seasons 08, 09 and 10).
Lynn stepped away from the captaincy last summer, handing the reins to Jimmy Peirson in an attempt to focus on his batting, but last summer yielded just 215 runs at 17.91 in his 12 matches – his leanest return in 11 seasons in the competition – as the Heat finished the tournament in seventh with just three wins.
Lynn's best years for the Heat were in 2015-17, when across two seasons he hit 687 runs at a strike-rate north of 175, with 53 sixes.
However, with the club failing to make the finals four times in the past five years and having not reached a decider since their title win in 2012-13, Brisbane Heat and Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said it was time to move on.
"It's not a decision that has come easily to the Heat by any means," Svenson said. "Chris Lynn and his feats have made an indelible impression on the club, and his efforts over more than a decade can rightly be said to have had an enormously positive effect on cricket.
"The Heat wish him nothing but the best for the future as he transitions into another phase of his career and thank him wholeheartedly for his commitment to the game in Queensland."
With Usman Khawaja ending his association with the Sydney Thunder earlier this year due to family reasons – he lives in Brisbane and recently he and wife Rachel welcomed a second daughter – the 35-year-old who also captains the Queensland Bulls is widely expected to join the Heat.
However, no deal can be ratified until the league lifts its embargo on player contracting, with plans for the introduction of a draft for international players yet to be finalised, while Khawaja's rejuvenated Test career poeses questions about how much BBL he could be expected to play next summer.
Chris Lynn's Brisbane Heat career
P 102 | Runs 3005 | HS 101 | SR 148.76 | Avg 34.54 | 100s 1 | 50s 24 | 6s 180 | 4s 233