K'cliff cricket star to have a scorching summer in Brisbane
CRICKET: Tweed product Max Bryant is the teenager uncapped at Big Bash League level who has Brisbane Heat fans optimistic of a summer to remember.
Having chalked up 13 domestic appearances in the 50-over format, Bryant is now ready to explode on the Twenty20 stage.
After Gold Coast Dolphins teammate Matt Kuhnemann secured the 18th and final spot on the Heat's roster, the franchise asked its fan base to select their best XI for the upcoming season.
Bryant was a popular pick not only to make his debut but feature prominently in a top three alongside "Bash Brothers” Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn, with 60 per cent of responders including the Murwillumbah-born opening batsman in their side.
Bryant did his case no harm on Wednesday, blasting 36 off 22 for a Cricket Australia XI against a South African attack spearheaded by Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
Former Dolphins coach Damian Wallis worked closely with Bryant for several seasons and believes the 19-year-old can make a statement on the BBL stage.
"He's just a natural talent,” Wallis said.
"I think within a few years his game will be taken to another level ... and obviously the Big Bash is a good way to get himself known.
"It's a pretty exciting time for him.”
Former Dolphins prodigy Ben McDermott has broken into the national team in recent weeks, having set up his career with some remarkable BBL knocks.
Wallis said young Bryant had always been bound for big things.
"We'd heard whispers from over the border about what a special talent he was (when he arrived at the Dolphins) and it was pretty evident early on in some of the lower grade games, in third grade when he was scoring run-a-ball half-centuries at such a young age,” he said.
"Everyone just saw how easy he made the game look and he has definitely matured in the last couple of seasons.”
Wallis added "any score is within reach” if McCullum, Bryant and Lynn can collectively fire for the Heat, who will play games at Metricon Stadium on December 22 and January 1.