Mike Hussey (Perth Scorchers)
Literally flown in to fix a sinking ship. Hussey was helicoptored in to the Olympic Stadium in July to announce he’d come to skipper the Titanic I mean the Thunder. Good luck.
Eoin Morgan (England)
Brilliantly inventive T20 batsmen and recently Englands ODI captain. Will only be available for the first half of the tournament as England ODI duties will beckon. In the grand tradition of English cricket, Morgan is Irish. Not sure if the name Eoin (Owen) gave it away.
Chris Woakes (England)
Over rated England all rounder. Early nomination for the Jade Dernbach Award for the Worst International Sigining of BBL|03.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Patented the over the keeper flick the Dil-scoop and plays it with aplomb. One of the leading T20 batsmen in the world Dilshan is a great pick up by the Thunder as he also offers dynamic fielding and some occasional spin.
Ajantha Mendis (Sydney Sixers)
Sri Lankan mystery spinner who garnered a truck load of wickets with his unpickable ‘carrom ball’ flicked out of the front of his fingers. Unpickable that was until the Kiwis spotted he changed his action when he bowled the ‘carrom ball’ and since then he has been spectacularly less successful.
Dave Warner (Sydney Sixers)
After playing BBL|01 at Thunder Warner moved to the Sixers for BBL|02 despite having a personal sponsorship deal at the Homebush Stadium. He now returns to the Thunder for BBL|03 and I’d suggest Cricket Australia directed him to do it. Regardless it’s unlikely he’ll play a whole lot particularly if he is recalled to the Australian one day team.
Kurtis Patterson (Sydney Sixers) & Luke Feldman (Sydney Sixers) & Daniel Hughes (Sydney Sixers)
Young batsmen Patterson and Hughes and fast bowler Feldman were part of a eight man package deal that the Thunder and Sixers were able to manufacture. In an incredibly complicated deal, that also included the movement of Warner and Sri Lankan international Mendis from the Sixers to Thunder and landed the Sixers Mark Cosgrove, Trent Copeland and Sean Abbott, the Thunder bought the Sixers a pad at Bondi for their interstate players and even managed to reroute Lance Franklin from GWS to the Sydney Swans to get the deal over the line.
Rookies: Jake Doran and Jeremy Maher
Mark Cosgrove (Sydney Sixers)
Sean Abbott (Sydney Sixers)
Adam Zampa (Adelaide Strikers)
Chris Gayle (West Indies)
Martin Guptil (New Zealand)
Matt Prior (England)
Azhar Mahmood (Pakistan)
The Thunder reacted savagely to not winning a game last season by cutting 8 players, including some poorly performed internationals in Chris Gayle and Matt Prior. In their place the Thunder have, in my opinion, been “handed” a few quality performers by Cricket Australia, namely Dave Warner and Mike Hussey. Hussey comes in as captain with Michael Clarke likely to only be available for token appearances if at all. The batting has been further strengthened with the signing of internationals Dilshan and Morgan and vastly improved form of wicket keeper batsmen Ryan Carters. The pace bowling is headed by T20 free lancer Dirk Nannes plus solid state performers Luke Feldman and Gurinda Sandhu and looks to be fairly strong. The areas of weakness look to be allrounders and spinners of which the only options appear to be the low profile pairing of Jason Floros and Luke Doran plus Chris Woakes. With limited inputs expected from Warner, Clarke and Morgan expect the Thunder to continue to struggle to make enough runs – another tough season is likely.
1. Tilakaratne Dilshan
2. Usman Khawaja
3. Eoin Morgan
4. Mike Hussey
5. Kurtis Patterson
6. Ryan Carters
7. Jason Floros
8. Luke Doran
9. Luke Feldman
10. Gurinder Sandhu
11. Dirk Nannes
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH IF THE BIG BASH WAS A BAND….
The Sydney Thunder have won 2 games in 2 seasons and a lot of their play has been of “village” standard so what better band to represent them than “The Village People”
Luke Feldman – cop
The Queensland fast bowler was actually a cop before throwing in a career chasing crooks to a career chasing boundary balls to the fence.
Dave Warner – bikie
Warner was not adverse to a bit of bikie like behaviour ie throwing punches at opposition players in bars. He also has the mandatory bikie moustache.
Mike Hussey – construction worker
Hussey has been flown in to do the heavy lifting on the underperforming building site. He was initially site foreman in charge of a bunch of work experience kids but has now been given some quality local and international qualified tradesmen to get the job done.
Scott Coyte – army
Coyte is a loyal foot soldier who has proudly worn the green since the Thunder first started. He follows orders and is good for team morale but unfortunately isn’t particularly good at cricket.
Dirk Nannes – cowboy
Nannes is liked a hired gun slinger: he has a lethal left arm and will travel world wide for a well paying, short term T20 contract.
THE PREDICTION: 8th