Heat recruit Tom Cooper plans to bring some consistency to a Brisbane BBL side that’s “very good or very bad”.
After eight seasons and 71 matches with the Melbourne Renegades, Cooper, 34, has joined a Heat team that has failed to make the BBL finals for three successive years.
The right-handed batsman and handy off-spinner said rival teams did not enjoy the prospect of playing an enigmatic Brisbane team that could go from world-beaters to flops from one match to the next.
“They’re either very good or very bad, but leading up to games you don’t know which one you’re going to get,” Lismore product Cooper said.
“It’s always a dangerous match-up, and you either get blown out of the water or have some success.
“That’s what we’re talking about now … bringing that bit more consistency to our games.
“The squad that we have, if we can do that, we’re going to go a long way to having quite a bit of success I reckon.”
Fresh from a two-week quarantine spell, Cooper was thrilled at the prospect of calling the Gabba his home ground.
Three new signings to join our #BBL10 squad!
— Brisbane Heat (@HeatBBL) December 3, 2020
“The Gabba’s an unbelievable place to play cricket. It’s up there with one of the best places to bat in the world.
“The crowd can be quite hostile to the opposition, but it’s always a great atmosphere.
“You talk to most cricketers around the world, and the Gabba will be in their top handful of places to bat, so I’m really looking forward to playing most of the home games there.”
The Heat will also play home matches at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast in a campaign starting in Canberra on Friday week against the Melbourne Stars.
The Brisbane side has named former Hobart Hurricanes all-rounder Simon Milenko as one of three replacement players to cover for the absence of Test pair Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns and Test hopeful Mitch Swepson.
The other replacements are Lachy Pfeffer and Jack Wood.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann said Milenko was a “seasoned pro”.
“It’s great to have him back in teal and around the group,” said Lehmann, who added Pfeffer and Wood gave the Brisbane squad “handy depth in key positions”.
“They are all talented players and will do a good job for us while the Aussie boys are away.”
English batsman Dan Lawrence remains in quarantine and will link with the Heat squad next week.
South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, who qualifies as a local player through residency and his wife being Australian, is out of quarantine and trained with the Heat on Thursday.