Sydney Thunder will announce the winner of their annual Player of the Tournament this Saturday at Cricket NSW’s Steve Waugh & Belinda Clark Medal Awards Night, with the BBL award now being known as the Mike Hussey Medal.
The award, named after Thunder’s current Director of Cricket and Thunder’s captain during their BBL05 winning campaign. The Women's Big Bash League award, won last year by West Indian sensation Stafanie Taylor will continue to be known as the Sydney Thunder WBBL Player of the Tournament.
Here’s a look at the previous winners of what is now known as the Mike Hussey Medal.
BBL01 - Chris Gayle
The West Indian batsman was Thunder’s marquee signing ahead of the inaugural competition, eventually finishing eighth in the league’s run scoring charts with 252 at an average of 37. His unbeaten century against the Adelaide Strikers at Stadium Australia came from 54-balls and included a massive 11 sixes.
Chris Gayle went on to play 14 times across two seasons for the Thunder Nation, scoring 389-runs at an average 29.92. Gayle would return to play in the KFC Big Bash League during BBL05, representing the Melbourne Renegades.
BBL02 - Dirk Nannes
Nannes was voted Player of the Tournament after taking 11 wickets, joint fourth highest in the competition. In a season where Thunder lost all eight of their games, Nannes was a shinning light taking 4-17 against the Adelaide Strikers.
The left arm quick joined Thunder after playing for the Melbourne Renegades in BBL01 and would go on to play 20 games during three seasons with the Thunder Nation. The former Netherlands and Australian international still holds the record for the most wickets taken for Sydney Thunder, with 23-wickets at an average of 22.43.
BBL03 - Gurinder Sandhu
A product of the Thunder Nation, Sandhu excelled in BBL03with the ball leading the Thunder wicket taker list with 10 wickets at 20.80, while allowing only 6.5 runs per over won a close contest with 107 votes from Mike Hussey (94 votes) and Dirk Nannes (74) in third.
A strong start to BBL04 saw him go on and make his ODI debut for Australia, he currently holds the record for the most games played by a Thunder player with 25, having taken 22-wickets on the way.
BBL04 - Jacques Kallis
King Kallis arrived at Thunder with a reputation of being one of the best all-rounders ever to play the game. Opening the batting with Mike Hussey during his first game at ANZ Stadium against Brisbane Heat saw the Thunder put on a record 160-run partnership.
The South African scored 235 runs at an average of 39, including a highest score of 97 not out. He also claimed five wickets opening the bowling.
Kallis was part of the Thunder squad that made history to win BBL05, and is the Club’s 5th highest run scorer of all time, with 372-runs at an average of 28.61.
BBL05 - Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson
For the first time ever the award was split between two players with Thunder who both made big contributions to Thunder winning the BBL title.
Left handed opener Khawaja, averaged an incredible 172.50 - the highest of BBL05 - scored at a strike rate of 163.50 and hit more fours (39) than any other player.
In his first season since moving to the Thunder, Watson scored 235 runs and took nine wickets, while Usman Khawaja was the second highest run-scorer in the competition, despite playing only four games.
Khawaja didn’t play a game for Thunder in BBL06 after spending the summer with the Australian national side, while Watson was named Mike Hussey’s replacement as Captain, although missed the first two games due to a calf injury.