SYDNEY: Brisbane Heat unveiled Morne Morkel as a ‘local’ player for this season’s Big Bash League on Friday, with the former South Africa quick now a permanent resident of Australia.

Morkel, who was a replacement international player for the Perth Scorchers for a one-off match last year, signed for a full season after obtaining permanent residency in Australia.

“I admit it will be a bit unusual to call myself a local, but we are enjoying living and working here and this is another aspect of our lives that I am looking forward to being a part of,” the 36-year-old said in a Heat statement.

Morkel, who is recovering from an ankle injury, quit international cricket and moved to Australia in 2018.

The right-arm quick ended a three-year stint with Surrey earlier this month and will be expected to rejuvenate the Heat attack following the departures of James Pattinson and Josh Lalor to Melbourne Renegades and Ben Cutting to Sydney Thunder.

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said Morkel’s experience bowling in different conditions would prove invaluable.

“On the international front, I consider his best bowling efforts came as he got older,” he added.

“His control and skill with the ball were his trademarks so it will be great to introduce him into our group,” added the former Australia coach.

Brisbane, BBL winners in 2012-13, begin the new campaign against Melbourne Stars on Dec. 11 in Canberra.

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