Heat have now got Banton for the first eight games and AB de Villiers for the last six. Getty

Tom Banton, recently crowned England Young Player of the Year, has been snapped up Brisbane Heat for the forthcoming season of the Big Bash League. The 20-year-old Somerset batsman's signing comes quick on the heels of Brisbane's AB de Villiers acquisition. Banton will play the first eight games of Heat's season with de Villiers taking over for the final six league games and the knockouts if the Heat progress that far.

Banton, who has been likened to Kevin Pietersen by Brendon McCullum, burst into the limelight following an impressive T20 Blast campaign this year when he scored 549 runs at a strike-rate of 161.47. This included a maiden T20 hundred against Kent off 51 balls. Those performances earned him a call-up England's T20 squad for this month's tour of New Zealand.

"If you had asked me at the start of the summer would I imagine it going like this, I would have probably had a laugh and suggested you weren't serious," Banton said. "I was blown away when it was announced last week that AB was coming to join the Heat so what was already going to be a huge experience just got bigger. I'm really looking forward to coming to Brisbane and seeing what Queensland has to offer after previously playing club cricket in Perth when I was younger. I've watched a fair bit of the BBL at home and it is a quality competition with so many outstanding players. I can't wait to be honest."

Reacting to the signing, Head head coach Darren Lehmann said: "He was the talk of English cricket during their season. Outside the World Cup and the Ashes, Tom was the player that a lot of people were really excited to be watching, and with good reason.

"He's a lovely striker of the ball and has that wide and varied range of shots you need to make the most of the early overs in the power play or to accelerate the scoring through the middle and back half of an innings," Lehmann added.

Brisbane Heat, who also have the Afghanistan pair of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Zahir Khan, will play the BBL09 opener against Sydney Thunder on December 17.