Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has signed with Brisbane Heat for the KFC T20 Big Bash League season.
Johnson, who will play for the Warriors in a Bupa Sheffield Shield against the Victorian Bushrangers at the MCG starting on Thursday, has agreed to a one-year deal with Heat.
The left-arm fast bowler turned out at the Champions League in South Africa this month with the Mumbai Indians, which he plays for in the Indian Premier League.
The 30-year-old has played 28 T20 Internationals, taking 36 wickets at an average of 20.11 including an economy rate of 7.14, and 34 career T20 games, with 38 wickets at 22.10 and an economy rate of 7.15.
Brisbane coach Darren Lehmann said today he was delighted to welcome Johnson to the Heat ranks.
“Midge has a lot of mates in the team from his days in Brisbane and also with the Australian team so he will slot in beautifully into the group,’’ he said.
“We’re all very pleased for he and Jess to be starting their family soon, so we’ll look forward to him enjoying his cricket with us once he’s ready,’’ Lehmann said.
“Mitch is a wonderful athlete and a gifted cricketer and I’m very excited to be working with him. He’s got plenty to offer Australian cricket and I’m glad we’re going to be a part of that during the Big Bash League this summer,’’ he said.
Johnson said he remained strongly committed to playing for Australia in all formats of the game and after seeing the success of the BBL in its inaugural season, was keen to be a part of BBL 2.
“I’m enjoying my cricket with the Warriors and signing with the Heat means I can have a chance to keep playing through December and January, which is the time of year you want to be in action and performing,’’ he said.
“I enjoyed the challenge with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL and at the Champions League and I was happy with how I went for Australia in the ODI series in Dubai during the winter. I’m really looking forward to playing at the Gabba once more and catching up with the boys again.”
“There was a lot of good cricket played last season in the BBL and I think everyone who saw the Sixers win the Champions League this week would agree that that standard of the competition is excellent,” Johnson said.
His signing today makes him the 16th player to join the Heat for BBL|02, which takes place in December and January.
All teams must sign 18 players by November 30, prior to the start of the competition.
One of the two remaining spots will be filled from this year’s KFC T20 Challenge, a four-team competition played across October and November featuring Queensland Bulls, Grade and Country players.
The Heat have signed Dan Vettori, Alister McDermott, Nathan Hauritz, Dan Christian, Ryan Harris, Ben Cutting, Luke Pomersbach, Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, James Hopes, Chris Hartley, Shane Watson, Kemar Roach, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon and Mitchell Johnson as their recruits for BBL 2.