Redlands Tigers captain Simon Milenko called into Brisbane Heat squad as replacement for Marnus Labuschagne

REDLANDS Tigers first grade captain Simon Milenko has been added to the Brisbane Heat squad less than a year after playing his last first-class game for Tasmania.

BIG SIGNING: Redlands Tigers captain Simon Milenko is back in teal after returning to Queensland following a professional career in Tasmania. Photo: supplied

BIG SIGNING: Redlands Tigers captain Simon Milenko is back in teal after returning to Queensland following a professional career in Tasmania. Photo: supplied

The 32-year-old all-rounder has been brought in as a replacement for one of the franchises' Australian representatives just days out from the start of the new BBL season.

Milenko returned to Queensland with his wife and young son earlier this year after walking away from state cricket with Tasmania.

He told the Redland City Bulletin in July that he had moved on to the next chapter of his life, which included running a custom apparel business, but would not write off playing twenty-twenty cricket professionally.

The opportunity to return to the big stage comes on the back of a stellar start to the grade cricket season with Redlands Tigers, where he has scored 586 runs at an average of 53 and taken 23 wickets.

He was signed for the Heat back in 2014 before being picked up by the Hobart Hurricanes for the competition's fourth season.

He fills a void in the Brisbane side left by Australian player and fellow Redlands cricketer Marnus Labuschagne.

Ipswich wrist-spinner Jack Wood and Valley wicket-keeper Lachy Pfeffer have also been brought in for missing members of the original squad.

Coach Darren Lehman said all three were talented players and would do a good job for the side while the Australian players were away.

"Milly is a seasoned pro and has been excellent in a leadership capacity for Redlands this season,'' he said. "It's great to have him back in teal and around the group.

"Lachy Pfeffer and Jack Wood give the squad some very handy depth in key positions and some useful selection options."

The Heat play their first match of the season against the Melbourne Stars on Friday, December 11.

They play six games at the Gabba in Brisbane and five at Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium.

Milenko helped Redlands to a first grade triumph in 2015/16 and is back at the helm of the first grade side this season.

He now lives at Thorneside with wife Kim and son Jack, and owns franchise Icon Sports Queensland.

The Heat have a number of Redlands players in the squad this season, including all-rounder James Bazley, batsman Sam Heazlett, wicket-keeper James Peirson and Australian star Marnus Labuschagne.

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