Simmons replaces McCullum in Brisbane Heat squad
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will not play this season's Big Bash League for the Brisbane Heat and has been replaced by West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons. McCullum opted out of the tournament due to his international commitments, with New Zealand set to host Sri Lanka for two Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is from December 10. The BBL will start from December 17, with the Heat scheduled to play their first match on December 19.
McCullum had signed a three-year contract with the franchise in June. His previous stint in the BBL was in the 2011-12 season in which he played three matches for the Heat.
Simmons, who is currently playing the Bangladesh Premier League for Rangpur Riders, will be available for the entire BBL season. Simmons and Samuel Badree are the two overseas players in the Heat squad.
"Brendon, the Heat and New Zealand Cricket have worked hard at things but in the end, his commitment to the Black Caps is the priority at this time and we accept that," Daniel Vettori, the Heat coach, said. "Brendon signed a three-year deal originally and we had hoped circumstances would allow more matches this year than has turned out."