Fakhar Zaman signs a three-match BBL effort

The Brisbane Heat have secured the services of Pakistani top-seed Fakhar Zaman for three matches in January.

Fakhar replaces the English batsman Tom Abell, whose stay in KFC BBL has been shortened and his knee injury turns out to be more serious than originally stated. After only playing two games, Abell has returned home to the UK to recover from a damaged ligament.

Fakhar’s first match for the Heat is set against the Melbourne Renegades in Geelong on 6 January.

The left-handed player has played 175 T20 matches with a strike rate of 132.96 in his career.

He has played 64 T20 internationals, 53 one-day internationals and three Tests to date.

After joining the Pakistan Navy, where he currently holds the rank of lieutenant, his cricket career took off through a series of ODI highlights.

In July 2018, he became the first Pakistani batsman to score a double century in an ODI, and in the same tournament against Zimbabwe, he darkened Sir Viv Richard’s record of reaching 1000 runs in ODIs in the fewest innings.

When he played against South Africa in the second ODI last year, Fakhar scored 193, which was the highest individual score, while chasing in an ODI, surpassing the 185 that Shane Watson scored against Bangladesh.

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These two goals make him just one of two players (along with Rohit Sharma) to boast two 190+ goals in ODI cricket.

He attributes in part his rapid development to working alongside former Brisbane Heat striker Brendon McCullum at Lahore Qalanders in the Pakistan Super League.

Given the boundaries of Queensland, Fakhar cannot play home games for the Heat on January 8 and 12 with the expectation that he will play intergovernmental on January 6, 16 and 19 and possibly finals.

Brisbane Heats coach Wade Seccombe said the club looked forward to bringing Zaman into the squad for the rest of the competition.

“It’s great to have a player in his class available to us at relatively short notice,” Seccombe said.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose Tom and wish him a speedy recovery at home in England.

“Like all the clubs, we certainly appreciate the commitment that the international players give to get to play in the BBL, and it was a real shame to lose Tom so early in the tournament.

“Fakhar will join us in Melbourne ahead of the match against the Renegades. We are delighted that he will be with us for what looks to be key matches.

“He is a distinguished performer who gets the job done on the teams he has played for, so we are sure he can adjust quickly.”

The Heat are currently preparing in Hobart for tomorrow’s New Year’s clash with the Hobart Hurricanes in shape.

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