Sydney Thunder has extended the contracts of captain Alex Blackwell and principal partner Mazda as well as confirming an international bowler for this season’s KFC Big Bash League.
Australian Vice-Captain Alex Blackwell will once again captain Sydney Thunder in the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League while Mitch McClenaghan will join the club for BBL|07 following the termination of his New Zealand Cricket contract.
“I spent some time at the St Lucia Stars with Shane Watson and got to know his outlook on the game and hear his passion for Sydney Thunder and the organisation,” said Mitch McClenaghan.
“I’ve admired watching his career and seeing how it’s progressed. I enjoyed playing alongside him in St Lucia and I think I’ll learn a lot from him during my time with Thunder.
“I grew up in Australia and watched a lot of Aussie cricket and to have the opportunity to play in the Big Bash is something I’m really looking forward to.
“The Big Bash is a fantastic spectacle, the atmosphere is amazing and skill levels are incredible.”
McClenaghan was the leading international bowler during this year’s IPL taking 19-wickets and has taken 112-wickets in ODI and IT20 cricket. The 31-year old’s career has taken him from Auckland to Lancashire, Middlesex, Mumbai Indians and St Lucia Stars.
Sydney Thunder Director of Cricket Michael Hussey is pleased to bring an experienced international player to Thunder for BBL|07.
“The club identified the need for a frontline bowler as a top priority for the season,” said Director of Cricket Michael Hussey.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Mitch in action for Thunder, he’s a bowler with experience playing in high pressured games at both domestic and international level.
“We’ve been monitoring his situation with New Zealand Cricket and are pleased to be able to bring him to the Big Bash for the summer.”
Thunder has also been quick to secure the services of captain Alex Blackwell on a two-year contract after the introduction of multi-year contracts in the WBBL.
“I really wanted to continue what we’ve started to build at Thunder,” said Alex Blackwell.
“I enjoy captaining this new team, there’s a lot of pride that goes into it. The core of the team will stay the same but we’ll get an injection of new and exciting talent and our list looks very strong.
“I’m very hungry to keep finding ways to get better. The WBBL has come along at a really great time for me. It’s a new and exciting competition and I’ve had to look at new ways to expand my game.
“We’ve got the best players in the world flooding to this competition because of the standard. Australian cricket can be very proud, we’re leading the world for both men and women’s T20 cricket.”
Blackwell has scored 796-runs in 29 games for Thunder and most recently scored 90 in the ICC Women’s World Cup semi final against India.
Sydney Thunder’s BBL and WBBL uniforms will once again feature Mazda branding while the they will also receive naming rights of the 330-seater Beach at Spotless Stadium and the Thunder Bus which engaged with over 110,000 people last year.
“Mazda and Sydney Thunder share a common vision to enhance and enrich our communities, by offering unique and powerful experiences to fans,” said Mazda Australia’s NSW State Manager Daniel Morris.
“The BBL is always a highlight of the summer sporting calendar, so Mazda is thrilled to once again support Sydney Thunder as Principal Partner, and we look forward to an exciting season ahead.”
Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon believes Blackwell is one of the premier leaders in world cricket.
“Alex is highly regarded both in Australia and internationally. This is due to her impeccable professionalism both on and off the field,” said Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon.
“She is a person and a leader of the highest integrity and embodies the values inherent at the Thunder club. I am thrilled to have her back as our leader.
“Mazda is a brand synonymous with quality and outstanding customer focus. The positioning with Sydney Thunder is seamless and I am very appreciative of this partnership that will benefit both Mazda’s community and our Thunder Nation.”
Sydney Thunder open their WBBL|03 season against the Melbourne Renegades on 9 December at North Sydney Oval while the KFC Big Bash league season will once again be launched at Spotless Stadium with Thunder taking on the Sydney Sixers in the Sydney Smash on 19 December.