LEWIS Gregory is to play alongside his Somerset team-mate Tom Banton in Australia this winter, having been signed by Brisbane Heat to play in the Big Bash League (BBL).

Cricket Australia has permitted BBL sides to recruit an additional overseas player, allowing the Heat to snap up Somerset's T20 captain.

This will be all-rounder Gregory's first appearance in the BBL, but the 28-year-old has experience of playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and Pakistan Super League, as well as making his T20 debut for England in the last year.

Gregory joins Banton - who has been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this autumn - and Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the Heat's overseas signings.

The BBL outfit certainly made the most of having two Englishmen in their squad, with a reference to The Inbetweeners 2 in this social media post:

Banton and Gregory will work under Heat coach Darren Lehmann, who said: "[Gregory] was quite sought after so we’re very pleased he is coming to us.

“I know ‘Bants’ [Banton] rates him very highly as a leader, a player and as a person, and I only heard good things about him from the UK when I was involved with the preparations for The Hundred competition where he was lined up to skipper the Trent Rockets team.

“He has built a very respectable reputation as a finisher with the bat for Somerset in the Vitality Blast T20 competition, and he is skillful with the ball as well as having good pace.

“It’s great adding another experienced performer into the group.

"He’s performed quite well in the overseas T20 leagues he has played in and had a good taste of Australian conditions last season as captain of the English Lions team that was out here on tour.

“I am sure he is looking at the BBL as an opportunity to show the English selectors that he is one to keep on their radar ahead of the Ashes next year."

Gregory told the Heat website: "We certainly kept a close eye on Tom’s performances for the Heat last season and so I’m rapt to have the chance to experience a world-class tournament like the BBL at first hand.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of adapting to conditions when I played in the BPL and PSL and got some good insights into Australian conditions during the Lions tour so I’m certainly excited to be heading to the Heat."