Ian Healy: Chris Lynn had lost enjoyment in under-performing Brisbane Heat

Ian Healy said a combination of Chris Lynn losing his enjoyment in trying to carry Brisbane Heat and a lack of development in the players around him were the key components in the club parting ways with the BBL’s record run-scorer.

Healy, a Queensland Cricket director who was part of the committee that made the decision not to offer Lynn a new contract, referenced a history of under-performing by Heat having only reached the finals three times in 11 years with one title back in the second season of BBL in 2012-13.

In last season’s Covid-disrupted campaign, during which Heat were one of the worst-affected teams, they finished seventh and Lynn ended with a tally of 215 runs at 17.91 from 12 matches.

Healy insisted it was purely cricketing reasons behind the move to end Lynn’s Heat career and believed it could help revive him but conceded the batter was still coming to terms with it.

“No behavioral or cultural issues came into this at all,” Healy told reporters. “To me, it was the fact that performing for the Brisbane Heat wasn’t enjoyable for Chris Lynn and our players on the other side weren’t growing so neither were enjoying the relationship. So it needed to change.

“Chris, for example, being relied upon so heavily in such a high-intensity job – trying to hit sixes from balls right where you don’t want them put – then his form being down, it becomes a real chore and effort to find energy day in day out. Then our team weren’t stepping up to support him well enough.”

Healy said it was time for Heat to build a new image of more than just a side that provided the entertainment factor with a strong focus needed on results.

“This is a sign that Brisbane Heat are going more to winning than entertaining,” he said. “That gives a lot of pleasure to fans. I don’t think the winning part has come easily for us and neither party has been enjoying the relationship last year.

“In the years where Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum were setting the Big Bash on fire with entertainment, we still weren’t winning. To me, the other players weren’t stepping up and they’re still not stepping up and it’s become unenjoyable for Lynny. So we’ve just got to make a step and get some real responsibility into our players.

“There were lots of reasons why last season wasn’t great but Lynny’s season, at the end of a five-year contract, was just poorly timed. This is one of the most significant decisions Brisbane Heat or even Queensland Cricket have had to make because he has been the Brisbane Heat.”

Healy believed that Lynn, who will shortly take up a county deal with Northamptonshire in the T20 Blast and will likely have interest from a number of BBL sides ahead of the next season, has at least five years of cricket left in him and added Heat’s door “is still open.”

“He accepts it. He knows how hard it was playing with so many players relying upon you and against great opposition who bowl very well to you, it was very, very difficult,” Healy said. “Then he’ll go into disappointment mode as well. Time will help and certainly England will help and hopefully another BBL franchise. All my cricketing instincts tell me he’s not finished. He’s got five good years and I really hope he can find some fun and enjoyment.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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