Chris Lynn of the Heat is struggling with a shoulder injury.
Chris Lynn of the Heat is struggling with a shoulder injury. DAN PELED

Lynn 'should be fine' for Scorchers clash, says Heat coach

CRICKET: Brisbane Heat coach Daniel Vettori has dismissed fears over the fitness of star batsman Chris Lynn ahead of tonight's top-of-the table clash against the Scorchers in Perth.

Lynn, who has 211 runs so far in the Big Bash League, injured his shoulder in the Heat's three-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers at the Gabba, but Vettori was confident he would be fit to face the ladder leaders at the Furnace.

"He should be fine,” Vettori said on arrival in Perth yesterday.

"I think we can manage his shoulder.

"As long as he is on the park and he can bat that's really important to us.

"He's had ongoing shoulder problems for a number of years and has learned to manage it.

"It will be just another game to do that.”

Vettori has bigger concerns with who will replace key spinner Samuel Badree, who did not fly to Perth as he has a hamstring injury.

The Heat coach named a 14-man squad, one more than usual, to cover for Badree's absence and the demands of flying to Perth and back.

"We have got a slightly bigger squad because of the concerns with the travel,” Vettori said.

"And with Sam out, we know how important he is, he's difficult to replace.

"We have brought in young Xavier Bartlett, so he may get an opportunity, and we have extended the squad with Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Reardon.”

If Bartlett does make the final team, he will become the youngest to play for the Heat in the Big Bash at 18 years and 18 days.

The teenage fast bowler will also be the youngest in the competition since Jake Doran, who made the Sydney Thunder team at 17.

Bartlett, a right-arm pace bowler from the Gold Coast, is an Australian under-19 representative who played for the Cricket Australia XI in the Matador Cup earlier this season.

Vettori said he had confidence in Bartlett if he did get to make his debut at the Furnace.

"All reports coming back from Queensland selectors and everyone involved back there has been positive,” the former New Zealand spinner said.

"He's mature for a young guy and understands his bowling role.

"I think in a T20 game you have to have some comprehension of what you are trying to do and I think he has shown those skills so far.”

The Big Bash League Technical Committee has approved Bartlett's inclusion as a replacement for fellow quick Luke Feldman, who has been ruled out with a side strain picked up playing in a Super Smash T20 match in New Zealand.

Replacement players must play in the starting XI or be selected as 12th man for their next BBL match.

Under the league rules, Feldman will be allowed to return to the squad if he does return to fitness.

PHIL DILLON



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