Heat’s rivals line up to sign Million Dollar Max
THE "Baby Bash Brother" is on his way to becoming "Million Dollar Max".
The Sunday Mail can reveal the Brisbane Heat are racing to lock up Max Bryant on a three-year contract extension before he hits the open market.
The 19-year-old Bryant has been a shining light for Brisbane in an up-and-down BBL campaign this summer.
Opening the batting, Bryant has scored 197 runs at 28.14 with a sizzling strike rate of 155.11.
He has whacked eight sixes and 24 fours and not looked out of place despite having only played eight BBL matches.
Bryant is off-contract after BBL08 and has already attracted interest from rival franchises despite not officially hitting the open market.
He is also eyeing off a spot in the lucrative Indian Premier League in the coming years if he can finish the Big Bash with a bang.
Bryant is on a cut-price deal for this year's tournament given he is a Big Bash newcomer, but with a string of strong performances his value is set to explode.
Heat captain Chris Lynn has become a Twenty20 specialist earning upwards of $3 million-a-year playing around the world.
Bryant's manager Gerard Flegler said the Gold Coast product's preference was to remain at the Heat alongside "Bash Brothers" Brendon McCullum and Lynn.
"The Heat are quite interested in locking him in long-term," he said.
"We haven't even looked at the open market while negotiations are happening with them. He will be pretty keen to stay at the Heat.
"He likes the Queensland set up and would like to stay close to his family.
"He is in a pretty good environment playing with Lynn and McCullum. He is enjoying learning off those blokes.
"He is only 19 and there aren't too many blokes doing what he does at 19.
"The IPL is a long-term goal of his. We didn't nominate him for this year's draft, he wants to have a good Big Bash.
"Hopefully we can lock something in long-term with the Heat."
Bryant is one the Big Bash's most effortless six-hitters.
He appears to clear the ropes with ease and has rarely failed for the Heat this summer, producing scores of 22, 30, 34, 11, 36, 18, 44 and 2 not out.
Lynn said Bryant's next challenge was to go on and make a big score, possibly against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on Sunday night.
"With a guy like Brendon McCullum going at the other end he might be feeling the heat a little bit to keep up," Lynn said.
"Right now I'd take those thirties and forties. He's doing them in quick fashion as well.
"That was his role at the start of the year. If he's doing that at bare minimum then I'm pretty happy when he actually gets going and gets 70, 80 or 100. He will be doing it in quite amazing fashion.
"He knows his game plan. He stays very still at the crease then it makes it look like they're in slow motion when they're bowling at him.
"The next level for him is to push on from those thirties or forties. It might take a season but I'm okay with that because we knew why we signed him and the impact he would have."
The sixth-placed Heat need to beat the Sixers to remain in finals contention entering the back end of the tournament.
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