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Big Bash: Sydney Thunder profile

Sydney Thunder's one and only Big Bash League triumph to date came back in 2015/16 and the franchise will be eager to try and add to that success in the upcoming season.

Usman Khawaja was the hero of the hour back in early 2016, as he made a century in the semi-final win over Adelaide Strikers, before adding 70 in a tense three-wicket victory over Melbourne Stars in the final.

And they will have extra motivation for the new campaign, having been bowled out for an astonishing 15 by the Strikers during the most recently-completed season, with the Thunder 9.00 to be crowned champions this season.

Big Bash League history

The Thunder have only once reached the Big Bash League final, taking the honours in 2016 by seeing off the Stars.

That record is all the more painful due to city rivals the Sydney Sixers having made it to six finals and secured the title on three occasions, including the inaugural tournament back in 2011/12.

Last season, the Thunder recovered from their humiliation by the Strikers to finish in fourth place in the standings and qualify for the Finals Series, although their hopes were ended by a rain-affected eight-run defeat at the hands of Brisbane Heat in the Eliminator.

A strong 2021/22 season saw the Thunder end up in third place in the table to qualify for a clash with the Strikers in the Qualifier round, but it was the Adelaide outfit who prevailed by six runs in a clash at the MCG which went right down to the last ball.

The Thunder have reached the Finals Series for the last four seasons in a row and are 2.05 to finish in the top 4 this season.

Signings ahead of new campaign

The vastly-experienced Trevor Bayliss is the current head coach of the Thunder and he will be relying heavily on the veteran opening partnership of David Warner and Alex Hales.

Warner is in the process of bringing down the curtain on his amazing international career, while former England right-hander Hales has made over 2,000 runs in the Big Bash League, with the Thunder the fourth franchise he has played for.

Hales was the leading runscorer in the competition back in 2020/21 with a return of 543 runs at a strike-rate of over 160, while in 2021/22 he racked up 383 runs, before a drop in output last season as his tally slipped to 245 runs.

The Thunder’s top-order batting options have also been significantly strengthened by the signing of Cameron Bancroft, who opted to leave Perth Scorchers after helping them to back-to-back Big Bash League titles, fearing that his opportunities may be limited in the upcoming campaign.

With the ball, much will be expected of young leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha, who missed the whole of last season due to a back injury, so will be a new signing in all but name for the upcoming campaign.

Sangha has broken into the international set-up in recent months, marking his T20I debut by taking 4-31 against South Africa in Durban in August this year, and he is 23.00 to be Top Bowler in the 2023/24 Big Bash.

Left-arm seamer Daniel Sams was the leading Thunder wicket-taker last season with 18 and he will hope to get close to that tally once again.

Sydney Thunder fixtures

The Thunder open their season with a game against the Heat at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday 11th December and they return to action seven days later against the Strikers at the Adelaide Oval.

The first Sydney Smash comes up on Saturday 30th December, as the Thunder go head-to-head with the Sixers at the Sydney Showground Stadium.

The return derby is scheduled for Friday 12th January at the SCG, while the Thunder finish their regular season at home to Melbourne Renegades on Wednesday 17th January.

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