Born and raised in Western Sydney, rising young cricketers Will Salzmann and Liam Doddrell are about to embark on a shared childhood dream after the duo put pen to paper with Sydney Thunder for KFC BBL|13.
Salzmann, 20, from Camden, and 21-year-old Penrith boy Doddrell, have played the bulk of their junior representative cricket either together or against each other and now the pair of all-rounders will do it again in the lime green of Thunder under the leadership of master coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Chris Green.
Sydney Thunder will hold their annual Fan Day at Cricket Central in Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday December 17 from. Players from both the BBL and WBBL squads will be in attendance. The event is FREE and open to all members and fans.
Salzmann, who has inked a two-season deal, has been a key part of Australia’s U19 team for the last few years and has played Marsh One-Day Cup for NSW in each of the last two summers, including a match winning performance against defending champions Western Australia earlier this year, when he took 4/48 with the ball and hit the winning runs with the bat.
“I had been in discussions with (Thunder assistant coach) Shawn Bradstreet for a month or so about joining Thunder and then I got a call from Andrew Gilchrist (Head of Sydney Thunder) to offer me a contract and it was all quite surreal,” Salzmann said.
“I’ve built a strong relationship with Shawn in his role as the NSW Blues bowling coach and when he was interested in me joining Thunder I was pretty excited, but for it to actually happen, it’s pretty cool.
“Growing up in Western Sydney, supporting Thunder and going to watch them play, and now being able to join their squad. It really is a childhood dream.”
That sentiment was echoed by Doddrell, who has signed on for one season and counts another Penrith local, Australian captain Pat Cummins, as his inspiration.
“When I was younger, I always dreamed of playing for Sydney Thunder and now to get a contract, it’s unreal, sort of breathtaking,’ Doddrell said.
“I used to go to Sydney Showground Stadium with my dad to watch them play, the atmosphere is crazy and now I could be playing for Thunder there.”
And having Salzmann alongside him is just the icing on the cake for Doddrell.
“I have played a fair bit with Will,” he said.
“We have kind of the same game, bowlers who can bat, and it will be really good to be there with ‘Salzy’. He’s such a competitor and I am going to love being there and doing this with him.”
Sydney Thunder kick off their BBL|13 campaign against Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Tuesday December 12. Tickets are available via sydneythunder.com.au.