Cricket 2021: English wicketkeeper-batsman and Brisbane Heat star Tom Banton withdraws from Big Bash League BBL 11

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English T20I wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Banton won’t take part in BBL|11 after voicing welfare concerns with the Brisbane Heat.

The Brisbane Heat have given English wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Banton permission to withdraw from BBL|11.

Banton, who has played nine T20Is for England, made his Big Bash League debut for the Heat in BBL|9.

He missed the follow-up tournament after expressing concerns with lockdown bubble fatigue to the club.

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The 22-year-old raised similar concerns with having to complete hotel quarantine upon arrival in Australia for BBL|11.

The Heat have signed off on Banton remaining in England, leaving Jimmy Peirson all but certain to reprise his role as the side’s wicketkeeper when the tournament begins in December.

“It was a difficult decision but one that I know was the right one for me given the situation,’’ said Banton.

“I’d like to thank the club for their understanding and the Heat fans, who made it such a memorable experience when I was there last time.

“I have very good memories of my time with the Heat and the way I was looked after there. I wish the lads all the best for the coming season and will be cheering them on.”

Banton’s absence opens up an international spot on the Heat’s roster.

Coach Wade Seccombe said the club was already in the process of finding Banton’s replacement.

“We had some good conversations with Tom during The Hundred about his intentions and certainly gave him the time and space to make his decision,’’ he said.

“In the end, he was honest and upfront with his decision-making and told us how disappointed he was not to be coming out, but we understand and accept his decision.

“We support Tom as we do all of our players. I’m sure that our fans and supporters will join us in wishing him the best in the future with his cricket.

“We have some contingencies to explore in terms of completing our squad and we are working on that now.”

As for the Heat’s other international players, Afghan spin bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman will once again feature in Brisbane’s attack. Earlier this month, the Heat confirmed they had signed Englishman Ben Duckett, who is in line to make his BBL debut.

Duckett previously played for the Hobart Hurricanes during a tour of the United Arab Emirates in 2018.

The Heat have retained the services of marquee players Chris Lynn and Marnus Labuschagne for the upcoming series, as well.

The former has been relieved of the captaincy for BBL|11 and could be replaced by wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson.

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