The Brisbane Heat, a professional men’s cricket franchise, have been setting the Big Bash League (BBL) ablaze with their exhilarating performances and remarkable journey. Let’s delve into the scorching history of this team that hails from the Australian state of Queensland.
The Birth of the Heat
The Brisbane Heat was forged as the successors of the Queensland Bulls, who previously competed in the now-defunct KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. With a unique identity and a vibrant teal uniform, they’ve become a force to be reckoned with in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 cricket competition, the BBL.
Home Sweet Home
The Heat proudly call Brisbane their home, representing the spirited cricket enthusiasts of Queensland. Their fortress is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, fondly known as “The Gabba.” This iconic stadium has witnessed some of the most exhilarating moments in Australian cricket history.
Leadership That Ignites
The Heat’s journey has been ignited by remarkable leadership. Inaugural coach Darren Lehmann, who now serves as an assistant to the current head coach, Wade Seccombe, set the foundation for their cricketing excellence. The team’s inaugural captain was none other than Australian ODI batter, Peter Forrest. Over the years, a stellar lineup of leaders, including Usman Khawaja, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, and Daniel Vettori, has steered the Heat towards glory.
A Triumph in BBL02
In just their second season (BBL02), the Heat accomplished a remarkable feat by clinching the Big Bash League title for the first time. Their victory not only secured a place in history but also earned them a spot in the prestigious Champions League Twenty20. This triumph remains a significant milestone in the team’s journey.
The Brisbane Heat continues to set the cricketing stage on fire with their electrifying performances, dynamic leadership, and unwavering spirit. As they aim for greater heights in the BBL, cricket fans can expect more scorching moments and thrilling victories from this talented team.
The Big Bash League (BBL) has been a cricketing extravaganza filled with thrills, spills, and heart-stopping moments. The Brisbane Heat, a franchise with a storied past in the league, has had its fair share of ups and downs. Let’s take a look at their journey through the early years of the BBL.
Big Bash League 2011/12: The Fiery Start
In the inaugural BBL season (2011/12), the Heat didn’t have the smoothest beginning. They stumbled out of the gate, losing their first four matches. However, as champions often do, they finished the league stage with a bang, winning their final three games. This fiery finish landed them in fifth place, just one spot below the semi-final qualification threshold.
Captain James Hopes, the designated leader, was sidelined for the entire tournament due to injury. Stepping into his shoes was Peter Forrest, who admirably led the team. Meanwhile, the dynamic Brendon McCullum occasionally missed matches while representing New Zealand in the HRV Cup. The Heat also had to contend with injuries, including that of fellow New Zealander Daniel Vettori.
Big Bash League 2012/13: A Triumph to Remember
The 2012/13 season marked a significant turnaround for the Heat. Winning four matches and losing four in the league stage, they clinched a semi-final spot thanks to their net run-rate. It was in the semi-final clash against the table-topping Renegades that they truly shone. Luke Pomersbach’s unforgettable 112* led the Heat to a stunning victory over the Renegades.
The grand finale pitted the Brisbane Heat against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on 19 January 2013. Captain James Hopes was still unable to play due to injury, leaving the leadership to Chris Hartley. Opting to bat first, the Heat posted a total of 167 runs, with Joe Burns being the top scorer with 43 runs.
In response, the Scorchers could only manage 133 runs, losing by 34 runs. The Barbadian Kemar Roach starred with the ball, taking three wickets for just 18 runs. It was a collective effort, with Nathan Hauritz being named the Man of the Match.
Big Bash League 2013/14 – 2014/15: A Rollercoaster Ride
The subsequent seasons were a rollercoaster for the Brisbane Heat. In 2013/14, they started well but finished in fifth place. The highlight was Cameron Gannon’s sensational bowling, claiming 18 wickets at an average of less than 12.
In 2014/15, the Heat had a rocky journey, losing their first match, bouncing back with a thrilling victory, and then losing five consecutive games. They ended the season with a win but finished in last place. This led to significant changes, with coach Stuart Law resigning and James Hopes stepping down as captain.
Big Bash League 2015/16: A Transition Season for Brisbane Heat
The 2015/16 Big Bash League (BBL) season brought several changes to the Brisbane Heat. With the retirement of playing legend Daniel Vettori, he transitioned into a coaching role, signing a three-year contract to guide the franchise. As part of their restructuring, Chris Lynn assumed the role of captain after the resignation of James Hopes.
The Heat went on a recruitment spree, bolstering their squad with promising talents. The acquisitions included Josh Lalor, Andrew Fekete, Alex Doolan, as well as West Indian duo Samuel Badree and Lendl Simmons. Additionally, rising stars like Jack Wildermuth and Mitchell Swepson donned the teal uniform.
Despite their promising signings, the Heat faced early challenges. They endured a rocky start, losing their initial four matches. However, they found their groove and clinched a crucial victory against the Thunder. This winning momentum was short-lived as they suffered a loss to the Strikers.
In the latter stages of the season, the Heat rallied, showcasing their potential. They secured victories against the Sixers and Stars in their final two matches. The Heat finished sixth in the league table, notching three wins and enduring five losses.
Chris Lynn, the skipper, was the standout performer, earning the title of Player of the Tournament. He led the run-scoring charts, amassing an impressive 378 runs in just eight matches. His exceptional century against the Hobart Hurricanes was a testament to his incredible batting prowess, even though it came in a losing cause.
Big Bash League 2016/17: The Return of McCullum
The subsequent BBL season marked the return of the explosive Brendon McCullum to the Brisbane Heat. Having retired from international cricket, McCullum was back to lead the side. His absence in the previous season was due to the BBL coinciding with the final matches of his illustrious international career.
As the season progressed, the Heat further fortified their squad with local talent Marnus Labuschagne and Alex Ross, who joined from the Adelaide Strikers. English speedster Tymal Mills was a notable international addition.
The Heat launched their campaign on a high note, clinching victories in their first three matches. Their momentum, however, was momentarily halted by the Sixers, who secured a nail-biting three-wicket win. The Heat continued to impress with two more victories, concluding the league stage in second place with five wins and three losses, their best performance in this phase of the competition.
The semi-final was a dramatic encounter against the Sydney Sixers, ultimately decided in a super over. While the Heat’s journey ended with a thrilling loss, the captain, Chris Lynn, continued to shine. Once again, he was named Player of the Tournament, amassing 305 runs in six matches at an astonishing average of 154.5.
Big Bash League 2017-18 – 2018-19: Mixed Fortunes
The subsequent seasons saw the Heat make strategic signings, including Test opener Matt Renshaw and the likes of Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah, bolstering their spin-bowling department. Despite good starts, both seasons ended with mixed results.
In the 2017-18 season, the Heat won games but lost four consecutive matches, including a crucial Do-or-die contest against the Renegades, which marked the end of their season.
The 2018-19 season saw James Pattinson and Mujeeb Ur Rahman join the Heat, adding firepower to the squad. Their campaign had its ups and downs, with a mixture of wins and losses. Brendon McCullum, a BBL legend, announced his retirement from the league, marking the end of an era for the Brisbane Heat.
Big Bash League 2019-20: A Season of Change and Challenges for Brisbane Heat
The 2019-20 Big Bash League (BBL) season brought significant changes for the Brisbane Heat, both on and off the field. As the season approached, the Heat bid farewell to two key figures – Brendon McCullum retired from professional cricket, and former coach Daniel Vettori resigned. Stepping into the coaching role was a familiar face, Darren Lehmann, who had previously led the Heat to their maiden BBL Title in BBL|02.
To strengthen their squad, the Heat made notable signings. The marquee acquisition was none other than the legendary AB de Villiers, bringing his immense experience and explosive batting to the team. The franchise also secured the services of Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan and the young English opener Tom Banton.
The Heat’s journey in the season began with two defeats. They faced a 29-run loss against the Thunder in the season opener and then succumbed to the Stars by 22 runs in their next match. However, they quickly found their stride, bouncing back with an impressive 48-run victory against the Sixers. This match was marked by a breathtaking innings from Chris Lynn, who blazed his way to 94 runs off just 35 deliveries, smashing an astonishing 11 sixes.
The Heat then encountered a setback when they lost to the Scorchers by 40 runs. Nevertheless, they embarked on a remarkable run, winning their next three matches. One of these victories featured a standout performance from Tom Banton, who hit Arjun Nair for five consecutive sixes during a clash with the Thunder.
A 34-run loss to the Scorchers came next, but the Heat quickly rebounded with a 6-wicket triumph against the Strikers. This match was particularly special as it marked the Big Bash debut of AB de Villiers, who showcased his class and experience.
However, as the season progressed, the ghosts of BBL|07 returned to haunt the Heat. They experienced three consecutive losses, culminating in a dramatic collapse against the Renegades, where they lost ten wickets for just 36 runs in 55 balls.
The Heat’s fortunes changed with a resounding 71-run victory over the Stars, rekindling their hopes of making it to the playoffs. To secure a place in the finals, they needed a win in their last match against the Renegades. Unfortunately, they fell short, losing by 7 wickets, and were eliminated from the competition.
Big Bash League 2020-21 (BBL|10) and Beyond
Looking ahead, the Heat underwent further changes for the 2020-21 season. Jack Wildermuth made a return to the team, while Tom Cooper became a new addition. Notably, Morné Morkel joined as a local player after obtaining permanent residency in Australia.
The Heat’s overseas signings included Lewis Gregory and Dan Lawrence, adding international flair to their squad. Additionally, James Bazley, who had previously been a Rookie player in BBL|04, re-joined the Heat with a full contract.
As the season commenced, the Heat faced a series of challenges, including the departure of some key players. However, they remained determined to make their mark in the highly competitive world of T20 cricket.
In the following season, BBL 2021-22, the Brisbane Heat faced the harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a severely depleted squad and challenges in fielding a competitive team. They finished 7th and missed the finals for the fourth time in five years, underscoring the unique challenges faced by sports teams during these unprecedented times.
The Brisbane Heat’s journey through these seasons has been marked by a series of highs and lows, but their commitment to delivering thrilling T20 cricket remains undiminished, keeping fans excited for what the future holds.
Brisbane Heat Squad
Sam Heazlett, Josh Brown, Nathan McSweeney, Sam Hain, Jimmy Peirson (c & wk), Max Bryant, Michael Neser, James Bazley, Xavier Bartlett, Spencer Johnson, Matthew Kuhnemann, Will Prestwidge, Mark Steketee, Ross Whiteley, Jack Wildermuth