Yasir Shah may not be a regular in Pakistan’s limited-overs setup, but has seen Brisbane Heat snap up his services as a replacement player in this year’s Big Bash League (BBL). It is his first involvement with the BBL, having previously played T20 competitions in Pakistan and West Indies. He is the second Pakistan legspinner the Heat have drafted in this year, with Shadab Khan also having been signed by the franchise.
However, Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand clashes with the BBL to some extent, and that might see Shadab Khan unavailable for the Brisbane outfit for a significant chunk of the season. Heat coach Daniel Vettori confirmed that as the reason for securing Yasir’s services.
“Having Yasir agree to join us as a replacement player means that we can plan for the series with some certainty,” Vettori said after the signing. “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.”
The BBL allows each side to name two foreign players in their 18-man squad, and with last year’s semifinalists already having Shadab and Brendon McCullum in their ranks, Yasir will now feature in that list, only coming in should one of those two players be unavailable. Their first match is against Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on December 20.