Brisbane Heat have lost their third big-name signing in five days after recovering Test quick Ryan Harris withdrew from their entire KFC T20 Big Bash League campaign without playing a game.
Although Harris is back bowling in the nets after shoulder surgery in August, medical staff have opted for a more gradual build-up for the fast bowler and ruled him out of the BBL.
The Heat were already reeling from the withdrawal of world No.1 fast bowler Dale Steyn from his sole appearance – last Sunday’s opener against Hobart Hurricanes – and loss of New Zealand’s Dan Vettori (achilles) for the whole BBL tournament.
Harris has been replaced in the Heat squad by fellow speedster Matthew Gale.
Harris said he hoped to be fit for the Queensland Bulls’ remaining Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup games, starting after the BBL at the end of January.
“It’s disappointing because I am pretty close but to push now might not turn out to be the best thing for longer term,” he said.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good in the nets so far and while I’m not bowling off the full run-up or at full pace, I’m very positive about getting up to that level soon.”
Harris will travel to Adelaide as Heat assistant coach for the BBL match against the Strikers on Thursday night.
“He is bowling really well at this stage of his recovery, but it would have been unfair to throw him back into a BBL game and expect him to go full tilt from the outset,” Heat captain James Hopes said.
“This is the best thing for him and will give him plenty of playing time for Queensland and allow him to build a case for Australia’s tours to India and England.
“I’m firmly convinced that with his bowling skill set, he is comfortably in the ranks of the best Test bowling line-up that Australia can field.”
West Indies quick Kemar Roach will link with the Heat in Adelaide on Wednesday.