England's brightest young talent bound for the Big Bash
Yorkshire's Harry Brook signs with the Hobart Hurricanes after lighting up the UK's domestic competitions in another impressive summer that drew praise from Ben Stokes and Kevin Pietersen
6 October 2021, 08:16 PM AEST
One of England's most exciting short-form batting prospects is coming to the Big Bash, with the Hobart Hurricanes securing Yorkshire star Harry Brook for this summer.
The 22-year-old Brook will be a fresh face for Australian fans but has been making waves in England with a break-out season, and was recently named the young player of the year at England's PCA Awards.
Endorsed by Kevin Pietersen as a "big time" player and tipped for international honours by Ben Stokes, Brook brings a burgeoning reputation and Hobart are delighted to have secured him, with a deal having been signed earlier this year.
Brook played under Darren Lehmann at the Northern Superchargers in this year's inaugural Hundred tournament. Indeed, the Brisbane Heat, where Lehmann is an assistant, would have been keen on Brook when fellow Englishman Tom Banton pulled out of his contract in September, had he not already been snapped up by Hobart.
— Vitality Blast (@VitalityBlast) August 10, 2021
The right-handed Brook has put together an impressive season batting in the middle order. In the T20 Blast, he averaged 69.43 at a strike rate of 149.08 in 13 games for Yorkshire, including a 50-ball 91 against arch-rivals Lancashire, on his way to 486 runs in the tournament, the fourth highest overall.
In the Hundred, he was the Superchargers' top run-scorer, outpacing – and hitting more sixes – than teammate Chris Lynn even though Brook played two fewer games after he was forced to sit out the end of the tournament having contracted COVID-19.
In those five appearances in the Hundred, he scored 189 runs at 153.65 for an average of 47.25, again in a middle-order role.
That included blasting 62 from 31 in his debut match, which prompted Stokes to declare: "He's not scared of any situation, he's not frightened of any bowler and he just sticks to what works for him. I don't think it will be too long before we see him wearing the Three Lions (of England)."
A penchant for rotating the strike, hitting strong down the ground, and cashing in at the death with more ambitious reverses and scoops have helped him thrive in the tricky finishing role.
— The Hundred (@thehundred) August 3, 2021
"I went straight into that role (this season) and started off quite well. I like coming in after the Powerplay and just knocking it about for a bit, I've always been fairly good at rotating the strike," Brook told ESPN recently.
"I used to want to open the batting but I think that's gone out the window now. I've really enjoyed batting in the middle order.
"Usually you're still there at the end of the game and if you're knocking the runs off, you end up getting a not out. It's a good feeling being able to knock them off for your team."
Hobart already boast a stacked top order featuring Matthew Wade, D'Arcy Short and Ben McDermott and the arrival of Brook to fill out the middle order with Tim David and Peter Handscomb means the Hurricanes will boast formidable batting firepower.
With Riley Meredith and Nathan Ellis to lead the pace attack, the recruitment of Joel Paris plus veteran workhorse Scott Boland and Nepalese leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane ensures few weaknesses in Hobart's first choice XI.
However, Brook's success has not been limited to just the white-ball formats, and he could yet earn selection in the England Lions squad that is due to also tour Australia this summer.
The former England U19 captain was Yorkshire's second highest run-scorer this first-class season with 797 at 37.95, including two centuries.
Hobart still have one roster space for a third international, with neither of last year's recruits, Dawid Malan or Will Jacks, expected to return.
Hobart Hurricanes BBL|11 squad (so far): Scott Boland, Harry Brook (ENG), Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Caleb Jewell, Josh Kann, Sandeep Lamichhane (NEP), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Mac Wright.