Sydney Thunder Preview

IN

Chris Rogers (Victoria)

Dirk Nannes (MelbourneRenegades)

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan/Melbourne Renegades)

Ryan Carters (Melbourne Renegades)

Cameron Borgas (Adelaide Strikers)

Michael Clarke (NSW)

Rhett Lockyer (Hobart Hurricanes)

Matt Prior (England)

Martin Guptil (New Zealand)

Adam Coyte

Chris Tremain (NSW)

 

OUT

Dave Warner (Sydney Sixers)

Dan Smith (Sydney Sixers)

Ben Dunk (Hobart Hurricanes)

Philip Hughes (Adelaide Strikers)

Doug Bollinger (Hobart Hurricanes)

 

Delisted

Fidel Edwards

Nic Bills

Tim Armstrong

Tim Cruickshank

Matthew Day – still getting acting gigs. Was great in the most recent season of ‘Rake’

Craig Phillipson

 

 

THE PLAYERS

 

Cameron Borgas – brother of the much more polite and better known cricketer, Jason, with whom he shares a surname. A batsmen who lost his SA contract this year and has had a contiki tour of cricket destinations this year that typifies the have-bat–will-travel generation. In the past 12 months he has represented the Adelaide Strikers in BBL|01, The Netherlands in the English County 40 over competition, Australia in the Hong Kong 6s, some mob in the Sri Lankan Premier League and another mob in New Zealand’s HRV Cup. Will be Guptill’s doormat – ie Guptill will walk over him into the starting XI.

 

Chris Gayle – needs no introduction, the greatest T20 batsmen in the world and not a bad Gangnam style dancer either. Showed brilliant form at the World T20 and can hit an incredibly long ball, doesn’t do running between the wickets preferring to jog and happiest when he can keep his movements in the field to a minimum – will park himself at slip at every opportunity

 

Chris Rogers – was not signed in BBL|01 but consistently good batting form, razor sharp reflex catching in the cordon, panther like, Johnty Rhodes-esque movements in the infield and amazing runouts have forced team bosses to stand up and take notice. Ok so he is an excellent batsmen who consistently piles up runs on the domestic circuit in Australia and England and has shown he can adapt his style to suit the pace of T20. Deserves a contract and hopefully will make some telling contributions with the bat but will have to be hidden in the field.

 

Chris Tremain – bowler – never heard of him, from his profile picture he may well bowl right arm and a heavy ball. Allegedly came to be a Thunder player due to an incident in the SCG nets at NSW training. Brad Haddin entered the nets for a bat and Tremain greeted him with a barrage of short pitched bowling aimed at knocking the helmet of his head – his standard greeting to any batsmen. For some reason Haddin didn’t particularly like this and angrily called out “How ‘bout one in the batsmen’s half!”  Tremain responded by coming around the wicket and giving him a bit of the old pepper – a few tuneful bars of chin music. As the 27th consecutive delivery whistled past Haddin’s grill he was heard to loudly proclaim so all could hear, “FU&K OFF and go play for the Thunder!”

 

Dirk Nannes – left arm smoke, still kicking on the T20 mercenary/freelance circuit. Would have to go close to having played in the most different T20 competitions: The Netherlands in one World T20 then Australia in the next, Big Bash, IPL, Champions League, Zimbabwe, England , I think New Zealand, probably Sri Lanka, possibly Bangladesh and will be a short priced favourite in my book to join the US T20 league if it ever happens.

 

Gurinder Sandhu – once dropped 11 catches in a row at training. It so infuriated his teammates and coaches alike that a bizarre Thunder initiation ritual was introduced. Sandhu had to dress in the team mascot uniform, (“Captain Thunder” in case you didn’t know) , and run 11 laps of the Blacktown Oval carrying the equivalent contents of Ian ‘The Freak’ Harveys cricket bag  [11 cricket bats is just the start in case you are wondering, 3 packs of Winnie Blues, his drink driving conviction, UK Passport – whoops doesn’t have one of those, Australian ODI kit, 7 different county cricket one day uniforms,  etc etc]. Next he was tied to the sightscreen and had 11 cricket balls fired at him from a bowling machine at a distance of 25 metres. As the final insult Sandhu was handcuffed to a chair in the Rooty Hill RSL gaming room overnight and forced to play the pokies continuously for 14 hours.  Like all initiation rituals he’s a much better cricketer and person for having done it.

 

Jason Floros – studying dentistry at the Bond University. Known to hold court in the dressingroom after games regaling the squad with riveting tales of bad dental hygiene, carries, fillings and the dangers of not flossing regularly. Well respected for his strong pro-fluoride stance on water treatment and spreading the good word on harm minimisation techniques when imbibing of refreshing multinational beverages (read Powerade/Gatorade)  –  use a straw to protect the teeth. Look for all Thunder drink bottles to be fitted wth a straw n BBL|02. J-Flo had a Katich v Clarke style dressingroom dust up with Fidel Edwards last year after Fidel started drinking his powerade without a straw! Tales still circulate (and get taller all the time) of the magical, nay mythical, day when J-Flo ALMOST spun a ball!

 

 

Luke Doran – NSW state contracted spinner, a rarity in the Thunder squad (having a state contract that is.)  I thought this was the leg spinner Doran from Queensland who lost his state contract this year and is plying his trade in Melbourne’s premier cricket (it seemed more likely given sans state contract seems to be status quo at Thunder-town) but that’s David – a cousin perhaps?

LD brings a lot of Australian Hip Hop and Kreftweurk to the dressingroom but isn’t allowed to play it due to it contravening the First Rule of Thunder: No music shall be played pre, post or during games unless it is AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. He then brought an iPad to the dressingroom to watch Sylvester Stallone in ‘Victory’ as a motivational video. This was confiscated as it contravened the Second Rule of Thunder: No motivational movies are allowed unless they are “Days of Thunder”  [Victory also contravenes all rules of good taste as the poor plot, ludicrous number of celebrity cameos and walk ons (Pele makes an appearance), ham fisted butchering  by Stallone and some laughably bad ‘action’ scenes of a soccer match add up to a brown Logie winning effort – but I digress]

 

 

Mark Cosgrove – MC, Millennium Chicken, The Big Man, call him what you will but there is no doubt he’s fat and he can bat. Couldn’t break into a strong Hurricanes batting line up last Big Bash so took a leaf out of the Tex Walker tome titled “How to handle team selection  –  dealing with getting dropped” by sitting in the stands at home games sinking mid-strength schooners. Has been in good nick opening for Tassie this season and will be able to tell approximately half the squad what it’s like to currently have a state contract. Offers some military mediums and safe hands at first slip (if he can budge Gayle).

 

Martin Guptill –  Marty Two Toes will probably be on a time sharing arrangement with his NZ side, can hit a long ball, one of the leading T20 international batsmen – a savvy pick up.

 

Matt Prior – England Test keeper not in their limited overs set up at present, can hit a long ball and score quickly, tidy behind the pegs, slightly better liked than Paul Nixon on these shores

 

Michael Clarke – Test captain not best suited to this format and who was recently cut by his IPL team Pune. Will only play the ceremonial opening weekend Sydney derby wedged between the 3rd South Africa test and the 1st Sri Lanka test.

 

Ryan Carters – wicket keeper – settle in this is going to be long. Couldn’t get a game at the Renegades last year even in dead rubbers – he was kept out of the team by a bloke who had retired from first class cricket and was too busy filming TV shows to even play grade cricket for most of the summer. Who? Graeme Manou of course. Stories still circulate that Carters got the catching yips in December last year and instead of gloving balls in his hands was missing them and knocking them down with his chest. There was bruising to prove this. Carters has lost his spot n the Vics keeping pecking order with Pete Handscombe now deputising for Wade.

 

This line in his official player bio could not be ignored.

“’Carts’ plays the drums and Thuderstruck has long been a favourite song – the first time he played it was with his band, in Year8 for a school assembly – he was obviously destined to play for Sydney Thunder.” Put to one side that this is vomit inducing utter marketing drivel and focus on the idea that a 13 year old is on an electric guitar belting out the riffs in Thuderstruck…. hmmm

 

Also sack all sports psychologists, nutritionists, strength & conditioning coaches and The Weapon Carts has the answers: ”A good night’s sleep and a big breakfast are key to Ryan’s game preparation”

 

 

Rhett Lockyer – forgotten Tassie batsmen who can’t get a look in any format on the Apple Isle these days as he lost his state contract. Bodes well for a bumper Big Bash! Could well be playing Sydney grade cricket

 

Scott Coyte – another year, another opportunity to see Scott ‘Russell’ Coyte deciding to use his  indoor cricket run up when bowling to Chris Gayle here: Spent the lion’s share of his BBL contract by throwing a lavish 24- hour party at Rooty Hill RSL when it was announced Gayle had signed for the Thunder. Unsurprisingly doesn’t have a state contract but does get my vote for ugliest man ever to take a first class hatrick.

 

Adam Coyte – Sydney grade batsmen without a state contract, brother of Scott, not expected to play at all. The Coyte family is a lot like the Waugh family, both from Western Sydney, both boys play cricket but imagine Mark and Steve hadn’t played 100+ Test matches each and had a much more talented sister and you have  the Coyte family where sister Sarah plays for the Southern Stars.

 

Sean Abbott – allrounder. In a rarity for the Thunder ‘Costello’ blitzed the competition last year with his fielding finishing second in the highly sought after brown glove award for most catches for a non-wicket keeper with 6. Will be aiming for more of the same this year and maybe even look to make some contributions with the bat and the ball. Known for his strong sense of social justice.

 

Shahid Afridi – Boom Boom has been more Fizzle Fizzle over the last 2 years. Not surprising really given his real age is probably 40. Was serviceable with the ball last year for the Renegades but showed nothing with the willow in hand. This will matter not one iota now as the PCB have revoked his NOC (No Objection Certificate) which is basically his permission to play in the tournament. Apparently they didn’t realise they had a series against India on at the same time. Understandable really it’s only India…

 

 

THE SUMMARY

 

Where to start…

 

If great teams are built around continuity then Sydney Thunder are stuffed! No less than 11 players were shipped out and 11 more shipped in during the off season. Literally a whole new cricket team!

 

If great limited overs players are strong in all three facets of the game (batting, bowling, fielding) then Thunder are also stuffed. Thunder seem to have stacked the team full of players who are good only at their primary skill and offer SFA in the other aspects:  Rogers and Khawaja (batting only), Nannes (bowling only), Abbot (fielding only) and then there’s the Coyte brothers who would be lucky to form 1 decent cricketer between them – need I say more – add in a cohort of slips specialists (Gayle, Cosgrove, Guptill) and the fielding unit looks positively geriatric save for Sean Abbott of course.  Also they have no obvious candidate for captain when Clarke isn’t playing which will be 87.5% of the time. Rogers perhaps – he has done t at county level? The most glaring omission is an experienced and proven first class all rounder. Luke Butterworth, who played at Thunder in BBL|01, says “Hi”

 

Although there are Two Rules of Thunder there should be a Fight Club style Third Rule of Thunder: There is no Thunder. With a sh1t nickname, crappy stadium and a piss weak playing list one wonders why Thunder exists as a franchise. The bulk of the talent laden NSW squad clearly aren’t interested preferring to play at the Sydney Sixers.  Even a cabbage like Mud Guts Smith didn’t hang around and he was getting extra coin through some playing/quasi- assistant coach bullshit gig. Thunder have only had five Australian representatives on their books across the first two seasons and two have left (Hughes & Bollinger) and the other three are either unsuited to the format (Khawaja), have been told to played there by Cricket Australia (Clarke) or are superannuated  globe trotters (Nannes)

 

And back to the nickname what dolt thought naming a cricket team after the portent to prevailing weather conditions that would bring said event to a premature end was a good idea? That is Thunder proceeds ran which halts a cricket match. The only more inappropriate names for a cricket team would be Rain, Wash Outs or maybe Standing Water – the silent killer of a cricket match. Think marketing gurus, THINK!  Expect this team to be more Wash Outs than Thunder.

 

 

 

 

 

THE XI

 

  1. Chris Gayle
  2. Mark Cosgrove
  3. Usman Khawaja
  4. Martin Guptill
  5. Chris Rogers
  6. Ryan Carters
  7.  Jason Floros
  8. Sean Abbott
  9. Luke Doran
  10. Scott Coyte
  11. Dirk Nannes

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION: 7th

 

 

 

 

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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

One thought on “Sydney Thunder Preview”

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