The Brisbane Heat and Usman Khawaja have agreed to a four-year contract, it was announced on Wednesday, June 29. Khawaja, the Big Bash League‘s top run-scorer for Sydney Thunder, had departed the squad for personal reasons.
He was reported by Brisbane Heat as stating, “I always imagined I would finish out as a Thunder player, but it is strange how things change.”
With this change, Khawaja, who is based in Queensland, will experience something of a homecoming.
As Queensland’s captain and a new member of the Heat, Khawaja stated, “I’ve said for a long time that Brisbane is home, Queensland is home. Being here and joining the Heat is incredibly exciting.
“I am certain that whenever I play with the Heat at the Gabba or Metricon Stadium, I will be in front of my loved ones and a home audience. I adore the Thunder and the Thunder Nation, but this shift also comes at the perfect moment.
“Although it was an extremely difficult decision, the time simply feels perfect. I like to claim that I was formerly an honorary Queenslander and am now one.
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
I have had a tenuous connection to the Heat for a number of years due to my employment in Queensland, so I am eager to take on the task of checking them out today.
Khawaja’s transfer to the Heat covers the vacuum created by Chris Lynn, who was not re-signed by the team after 11 seasons as a member. Lynn was the BBL’s all-time greatest run scorer.
Khawaja will lead the Heat when he is available, but he will be away for the opening few weeks of the 2019 BBL season while representing Australia in tests.
The BBL season is anticipated to go through the end of January, thus he will be available after the conclusion of the Sydney Test match against South Africa on that date. When Khawaja is not available, Jimmy Peirson, who led the Heat last season, will take the helm.
Khawaja has a strong commitment to the BBL and has spoken out about the league’s future plans, saying Cricket Australia must soon take into account private investment.