Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Tom Banton has re-signed with BBL side Brisbane Heat for two more years after a promising maiden stint this season. Banton, who was signed by IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders in the December auction at his base price of INR 1 crore, scored 223 runs for the Heat at a superb strike-rate of 176.98.
Banton lived up to the hype by smashing the league's second-fastest half-century in only 16 balls against Sydney Thunder, hitting five sixes on the trot. Heat coach Darren Lehmann stated that Banton was a special player to watch out for in the coming years, and that he could be an asset for the franchise.
"I think anyone who saw Tom during his seven games for the Heat in the BBL would agree that he is a special player and someone we think can play an important role for us over the next two years... We wanted to move quickly and are very pleased that Tom has agreed to terms. He's a good young lad and we think his cricket will only get better from here. He's got his first IPL coming up and he's in the English set-up, so we know how highly he is thought of around the world."
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Lehmann also spoke about his team's poor performance which saw them finish seventh in the points table, with Banton emerging as the only real positive from the season.
"We certainly didn't have the type of finish to our season that we would have hoped for, and we know our fans were as disappointed as we were... We've spent some time since then reflecting on what worked and what we could improve on, and the best ways to achieve the goals we have set ourselves."
Lehmann also spoke highly of AB de Villiers, who replaced Banton in the later stages of the tournament. He believes that there are high chances of De Villiers returning to the competition next year with Brisbane Heat.
"AB was very positive about the prospects of returning to the Heat, so that is encouraging. We will keep working on things to see what the options are ahead of BBL 10."Published 05 Feb 2020, 14:04 IST