The Brisbane Heat have reached an agreement with Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah to be an international replacement player for the coming KFC Big Bash League tournament next month.
Shah, who was the second quickest bowler to take 150 wickets in Test cricket history, will be available in the event the Heat need to replace either of their two International signings, Brendon McCullum and Shadab Khan, during BBL|07.
The 31-year-old will travel to Brisbane to train with the Heat squad alongside his countryman and fellow leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
Heat coach Dan Vettori said the opportunity to include Yasir Shah in the club’s plans made good sense.
“Having Yasir agree to join us as a replacement player means that we can plan for the series with some certainty,’’ he said.
“Shadab Khan has been going from strength-to-strength for Pakistan since signing with us and there is the possibility he could be required for international duty during the BBL.
“Having an experienced ‘like for like’ player such as Yasir to call upon means we can hopefully have continuity with our playing plans.
“He’s a very accomplished player in Test, One Day and T20 formats, and having him around will also benefit the slow bowlers in our squad, especially someone like Mitch Swepson who is a young bowler rapidly gaining more experience transitioning between white and red ball cricket.”
Shah has taken 165 Test wickets at 29.44 in just 28 Tests, while in T20 he has 60 career wickets at an economy rate of 6.71.
He is a cousin of Victorian and Sydney Thunder leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, with the pair growing up in the town of Swabi in the northern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
A relatively late bloomer after getting a taste of ODI cricket in 2011, Shah had taken 279 first class wickets before his Test elevation for Pakistan.
Shah will not be part of the 18-man Heat squad while Khan and McCullum are available but can be activated as a replacement player.
Under the BBL’s playing conditions, clubs may have a maximum of two international players in their 18-man squads at any time. They may also sign two replacement International players and include them in their squad if either or both of their recruits are unavailable.
Brisbane has three spots to fill in its squad for BBL|07 ahead of the opening match against the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on Wednesday 20 December.
Brisbane Heat squad: Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Jason Floros, Sam Heazlett, Shadab Khan (International), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum (International, Captain), Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mitchell Swepson, Mark Steketee