Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori Michael Oakes - SMP Images

Vettori hot for Heat

FORMER New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori will rack up plenty more frequent flyer points after the spinner signed a three-year deal to play for the Brisbane Heat in the second Twenty20 Big Bash League later this year.

The BBL contract window opened yesterday and the eight teams have a fortnight to sign a minimum of 14 players and a maximum of 18, including two from overseas, and do it within a salary cap of $1 million.

Vettori, 33, hasn't played a T20 match for New Zealand since 2010, but recently announced he would be coming out of retirement for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka later this year.

He played three times for the Heat last season and will play around his NZ commitments this summer, which means he will not play the entire series as the Black Caps are in South Africa towards the end of the BBL season.

It will mean regular flights between Australia and New Zealand, but Vettori, who has taken 100 wickets in 95 career T20 games at an average of 22.46 and an economy rate of 6.30, said he was comfortable with the jet-setting lifestyle during the competition and believed he would be able to handle the dual commitments again.

"It was difficult at times, but still manageable for me last season," Vettori said. "It doesn't really affect your performance. You have to make sure you are prepared and up for every game when it comes around."

Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he was delighted to secure a player of Vettori's stature as the team's first signing.

"Dan showed last season his value for us. He's a great leader on and off the field ... he is always a highly motivated team member. As a coach, he's the ultimate professional," Lehmann said.

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