Sydney Thunder, the reigning champions of Australia’s Big Bash League, have decided to retain the services of batsman Aiden Blizzard, fast bowler Clint Mckay and young all-rounder Chris Green for the next two editions of Australia’s premier T20 competition. Announcing the decision, Thunder’s Director of cricket, Michael Hussey, the former Australian cricketer, said that they wanted to retain the core of the side that scripted a memorable title-winning campaign last season.
Sydney Thunder claimed the men’s title as well as the inaugural edition of the Women’s Big Bash League last season and is leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to retain the trophies. While the women’s team made history on Sunday by completing the signing of Indian vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur, the men's team is making sure that they are not left behind in their preparations for the upcoming season.
With 94 T20 matches under his belt, Blizzard is easily one of the most experienced players in Australia in the shortest format of the game and Hussey feels retaining the services of the 32-year-old was essential for Sydney with the knowledge that he will be able to impart to the younger players in the team.
"Aiden is one of the most experienced T20 batsmen in the country, and we believe he will play an important role in the upcoming season,” Hussey said.
Michael Hussey has huge expectations from 33-year-old fast bowler Clint McKay, who proved to be a big scoop for the Thunder last season after poaching him from rivals Melbourne Stars.
"Clint’s arrival from the Melbourne Stars last year was a real coup for the club, his haul of 18-wickets was a major factor in us winning the competition" Hussey said. It’s hard to argue with Hussey’s assessment as McKay played a key role against his former side in the 2015 final and the player himself is looking forward to continue his association with the team.
"There’s a great culture at the Thunder, on and off the field," McKay said. "I loved every minute of last season but beating the Stars at the MCG to lift the trophy is a day I’ll never forget. We’ve had a few retirements but it’s still a very talented squad, with some very exciting young players coming through."
Talking about the third player retained, Hussey said that he expects 22-year-old to express himself even more in the upcoming season and feels he will continue making the most of the opportunity given to him by a huge platform such as the BBL.
"Chris has come on leaps and bounds over the last two season. He is a great example of how young players can really make a name for themselves in the Big Bash," Hussey said.
Sydney Thunder will soon reveal the names of the two overseas international stars in the squad after general manager Nick Cummins confirmed on social media that both spots were filled for the coming edition of the BBL.Published 01 Aug 2016, 22:30 IST