Yasir Shah has been signed up as a replacement player by Brisbane Heat for this year's Big Bash League (BBL). It is his first involvement with the BBL, having previously played T20 competitions in Pakistan and West Indies. Yasir is the second Pakistan legspinner the Heat have drafted this year, having also signed Shadab Khan.
However, Pakistan's tour of New Zealand later this year clashes with the BBL to some extent, which means Shadab may not be available for the Heat for a significant chunk of the season. Heat coach Daniel Vettori confirmed that as the reason for securing Yasir's services.
Yasir has not been part of Pakistan's limited-overs set-up for more than a year. His last ODI was against England in August 2016.
"Having Yasir agree to join us as a replacement player means that we can plan for the series with some certainty," Vettori said after the signing. "Shadab Khan has been going from strength to strength for Pakistan since signing with us and there is the possibility he could be required for international duty during the BBL. Having an experienced like-for-like player such as Yasir to call upon means we can hopefully have continuity with our playing plans."
Each team in the BBL is allowed two foreign players in their 18-man squad. Brisbane, last year's semi-finalists, have Shadab and Brendon McCullum in their ranks. Yasir will now feature in that list, only coming in should one of those two players be unavailable. Their first match is against Melbourne Stars at the Gabba on December 20.