England batsman Tom Banton has pulled out of Big Bash League 2020 due to bio-bubble fatigue. Banton, 22, is currently in South Africa with the English squad for their limited-overs series.
Prior to this tour, Banton was in the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, where he featured in only one game.
Banton impressed in his maiden BBL season for Brisbane Heat last year hitting three half centuries at a strike rate of 176.98 for his haul of 223 runs.
"It has been harder than I thought spending so much time in the hubs and bubbles and I came to the realization that it wasn’t doing me much good," he said from South Africa.
“I know the Heat looked after me really well during the BBL last year and I was confident that they would understand when I spoke to Boof and Lynny about going home to regroup”
“I’d like to thank the fans and members who are getting ready to support the Heat during the tournament and pass on my regrets to them that I won’t be there.
“I will miss playing in front of the crowds at the Gabba and the Gold Coast who were so passionate about the Heat and hope that I can repeat that experience again in the future.”
“I will be following the lads during the season and hope the fans get behind and support my Somerset captain Lewis Gregory and Dan Lawrence who will be in their first BBL seasons. I am sure they will do a great job for us.”
Brisbane coach Darren Lehmann said the team was supportive of Banton's decision.
"Look firstly Tom is a terrific young man. He’s an impressive person and someone who we know would not have made a decision like this lightly and not without a great deal of soul-searching," he said.
“After speaking with him at length, the best option for him is to head home to his family and loved ones and give himself every chance to recover. We’ve always been strong as a club that your family comes first and so we back his decision 100 percent and hope he is feeling restored and mended very soon.”
“It is a very challenging time for many people and cricket is no exception. There is no normality or work life balance which is so important, especially in elite sport.
“The well-being of the players is paramount and I am sure everyone – fans, coaches, administrators, sponsors – recognizes that.
“We shouldn’t be critical of individuals making tough decisions so the best thing to do is to support them and back them.”
“It’s a setback for us, but we know there are people in our group, or those coming into our squad, who can rise to the occasion."