The Brisbane Heat have signed Tom Banton for two more years after the dashing England opener made a successful start to his Big Bash League career.
Banton was one of the few bright spots in a forgettable season for the Heat as he consistently unleashed scorching batting displays in the tournament.
He amassed 223 runs at a towering strike rate of 176.98 across seven appearances for the Heat before being called up for national duty in England's limited-overs series against South Africa.
Amidst his productive BBL stint, Banton slammed the second-fastest half-century in the competition's history. His destructive knock also featured five consecutive sixes in an over, signifying the youngster's majestic power-hitting abilities.
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann said: “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."
Meanwhile, the Brisbane-based franchise is involved in discussions with AB de Villiers to convince him to join the club for the next BBL edition as well.
De Villiers played in the second half of the BBL 09 as an overseas replacement for Banton, managing to score 146 runs in six games.
“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," Lehmann said.
“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.”