Star opening batsman Usman Khawaja has signed a massive four-year contract with Brisbane Heat ahead of the Big Bash League 2022.
Usman Khawaja BBL 12 Team
Earlier this year, Khawaja announced his exit from the Sydney Thunder with a year left citing family reasons.
Khawaja made his first-class cricket debut for New South Wales in 2008 and played his first international match for Australia in January 2011.
Since 2011, Khawaja has played for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. In BBL05, he was the second-highest run-scorer (345 runs), with an average of 172.50.
“I always thought I would finish off as a Thunder player, but it is funny how things change,” he was quoted as saying by Brisbane Heat.
He has played county cricket in the United Kingdom and briefly played in both the Indian Premier League and Pakistan Super League. Khawaja, who is based out of Queensland, will have a homecoming of sorts with this move.
“I’ve said it for a long time, that Brisbane is home, Queensland is home, and to be here, captain of Queensland, and now joining the Heat – it is really exciting,” said Khawaja.
“I know I will be playing in front of my family, and a home crowd, when I am at the Gabba or Metricon Stadium with the Heat. I love the Thunder and the Thunder Nation, but at the same time, this is a change that comes at the right time.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, it was a very tough one, but the timing just feels right. I like to say I used to be an honorary Queensland and now I am one.
“I have been loosely tied with the Heat through my Queensland roles for several years, and so I am looking forward to the challenge of trying something new by joining them now,” he said.
Extremely excited to be headed home to the Brisbane heat! Brisbane and QLD mean so much to me. Looking forward to working towards something special and having a bit of fun along the way 👊🏾 🏏 #heat #brisbane #home https://t.co/BfVHplMy5x
— Usman Khawaja (@Uz_Khawaja) June 29, 2022
Heat head coach Wade Seccombe said last week they will look to use their platinum pick on an impactful player who has won tournaments in the past.
“That could be a top-order bat, a pace bowler, a spinner, a middle-order finisher or an allrounder with our first pick … we will be looking at utilising our draft position to maximise our recruiting return,” he said.
Usman Khawaja have played 59 matches and scored 1818 runs at a strike rate of 129.86. He scored his best of 109* in BBL 05.
Brisbane Heat BBL|12 squad (so far)
Xavier Bartlett, James Bazely, Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Kuhnemann, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth