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Brisbane Heat forced to name eight debutant players after COVID-19 cases were rife through the squad.


Jake Lehmann top scored for the Brisbane Heat, who had to call on eight new players.

Brisbane Heat were forced to call upon eight new faces in what ended up being a heavy defeat against the Melbourne Renegades after the coronavirus ripped through their squad.

A game against the Sydney Sixers originally set for Wednesday was postponed after 12 players and coach Wade Seccombe tested positive for COVID-19 and were forced into a seven-day isolation.

Stand-in head coach James Hopes was on hand dispense caps to the new faces, which he opted to do all at once.

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“I was thinking we can sit there and we can do it individually, but I was going back through all the eight names, and at some stage in the last 11 years, you’ve all been spoken about in the back room somewhere in Queensland Cricket about playing for the Brisbane Heat,” Hopes said.

“I think that’s a really big feather in your cap, and that’s the one thing that combines you all tonight.”

The group of eight included two former Big Bash players in Jake Lehmann and David Grant, as well as six others who were playing in the competition for the first time; Jack Clayton, Ronan McDonald, Steve McGiffin, Lachlan Pfeffer, Will Prestwidge and Fakhar Zaman.

The Heat batted first, and it was Lehmann who played a star hand while those around him faltered.

The son of Australian legend Darren scored 65 before holing out to mid-wicket in the penultimate over.

No other player on the team passed 15 as Brisbane finished their innings on 6-128 – a respectable score given the circumstances, but the result was never in doubt.

Led by Shaun Marsh (57 off 35 balls) and Australian white-ball skipper Aaron Finch (37 off 28), the Renegades cruised to the target with eight wickets in hand, and 30 balls to spare.

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