BRISBANE Heat has been hit for six on the eve of game one of the Big Bash League with star South African bowler Dale Steyn unable to play on Sunday, and Kiwi spinner Daniel Vettori ruled out for the entire competition.
Heat officials are furious that Cricket South Africa has withdrawn permission for Steyn to play in Sunday's opening match against Ricky Ponting's Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba.
Steyn had agreed to play one match for the Heat, which would have made him eligible to play in next year's Champions League if the team qualified by making the BBL final.
Heat general manager Andrew Blucher said the organisation was bitterly disappointed by Cricket South Africa's decision to withdraw permission after it had been granted almost six weeks ago.
"We conducted all of our negotiations with Dale and his management in good faith and fulfilled all requirements that the BBL needed in order to sign him as one of our international players," Blucher said.
"We now find ourselves less than a week out from the opening game without a key element of our pre-game preparations. That is terribly disappointing for the team and our fans and members.
"Dale is also unhappy with this outcome. He was looking forward to the match, and of course has a very good relationship with coach Darren Lehman."
Blucher said advice from Vettori and New Zealand Cricket was that the champion left-arm spinner's Achilles tendon injury had flared again and that he would be sidelined for at least a further six weeks.
Despite the losses, Lehmann said, "I look at our squad and see blokes like James Hopes and Ben Cutting who didn't play for us last year, and know that we are a competitive line-up, especially when you throw in the likes of Mitch Johnson, Watto (Shane Watson) and Kemar Roach," Lehmann said.
- Alister McDermott
- Nathan Hauritz
- Dan Christian
- Ryan Harris
- Ben Cutting
- Luke Pomersbach
- Chris Lynn
- Joe Burns
- James Hopes
- Chris Hartley
- Shane Watson
- Kemar Roach
- Peter Forrest
- Cameron Gannon
- Mitchell Johnson
- Andrew Robinson
- Chris Sabburg