Daniel Vettori signs three-year deal with Brisbane Heat

New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori has signed a three-year deal with the Brisbane Heat for the 2012-13 Big Bash League.

Vettori, who played three matches with the Heat in the inaugural BBL last summer, said he was pleased to commit to a longer-term arrangement with Brisbane.

“I had a really good time last season. They were a great bunch of blokes led by a top coach in Darren Lehmann and his support staff, which made for a very enjoyable environment to play cricket in,’’ he said.

“It was a pretty easy decision to make to come back. It’s another chance to play in front of the fans at the Gabba which is a great ground.”

“Everyone remembers us playing really well at the back end of the competition and winning four games in row.

“If you look at the squad we had, there was an expectation we would do well, so if the bulk of the squad remains, with a few additions, then we can aim to go one step further and make the semi-finals. And as we saw, once you make the semis, then anything can happen.”

“It’s nice to have the security with the three-year deal. Knowing you can commit to the team and the fans for the next few seasons, it means you know where you are going to be and can plan around that. I’m looking forward to it.”

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he was delighted to secure a player of Vettori’s stature as the team’s first signing of BBL02.

“Dan showed last season his value for us. He’s a great leader on and off the field where he is always a highly motivated team member. As a coach, he’s the ultimate professional,’’ Lehmann said.

“I think he’s a wonderful fit for the Heat and would expect that he will perform an important role for us for the next few seasons.”

Vettori, 33, is only the second New Zealander to play more than 100 Tests as well as taking more than 300 Test wickets and scoring in excess of 3000 runs.

He has taken 100 wickets in 95 career T20 games at an average of 22.46 and an economy rate of 6.30.

In T20 Internationals, his record is 35 wickets in 28 games at 16.57 with an economy rate of 5.36, including a best bowling effort of 4 for 20 against India in 2007.

Each BBL team has to sign a minimum of 14 players in the signing window, with a maximum of 18 players allowed. Final squads will be completed by 30 November.

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