Cricket’s hottest talent joins Thunder

Australian cricket’s most prodigious young batter has committed to Sydney Thunder for the next two KFC BBL seasons.

At just 18, Sam Konstas has a first class fifty to his name, an Under 19 World Cup winners medal on his mantlepiece and now a bright future in Western Sydney with a team he has supported since the birth of the BBL when he was a toddler.

Konstas signed with Thunder before BBL|13 last summer but with under age championship commitments taking his focus he didn’t play a game. That will no doubt change in the future with the right handed top order maestro considered by many to be a generational talent.

He joins South Australian paceman Wes Agar as the first new additions to Sydney Thunder’s squad for BBL|14 as coach Trevor Bayliss and General Manager Trent Copeland look to build a list and culture that will challenge for a title.

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Since he can remember Konstas has been cricket mad and that includes being a dedicated fan of Thunder, often attending home games at Sydney Showground Stadium (still Thunder’s home ground, but now known as ENGIE Stadium) with his family to support his favourite players, including Thunder legend and now mentor Shane Watson.

“My older brother went for Thunder and we always loved watching, ever since we were little kids we have supported Thunder all the time,” Konstas said.

“Now it’s quite surreal to be able to play for Thunder and getting to know the players and the whole team. It’s a great experience for myself.”

A chance meeting with his childhood hero Watson two years ago sparked a further relationship with the club – and a supporter who will help guide Konstas through the next stage of his career.

“It started during school, he was training at Woollahra cricket nets and he was kind enough to chat with me,” Konstas said of the meeting with Watson.

“We were also training and I was lucky enough to have a good chat to him and ever since we've had a very good relationship and he’s been a mentor to me.

“He’s supported me throughout my journey and given me advice and guidance on different scenarios cricket wise and off field as well, so I’ve learnt a lot from him, and he’s been a massive support.”

Copeland, in his first season as Thunder’s GM, said Konstas represented exactly what the club’s new era looked like, displaying the passion and commitment required to reach the BBL’s pinnacle.

“Sam has been on board with Thunder as a fan since day dot and now he gets the chance to be there as a player,” Copeland said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player Sam’s age so focussed and committed to the cause and that’s not just with his on field play.

“He is passionate about this club, our fans in Western Sydney and the entertaining style of cricket we want to play.”

Sydney Thunder announced last month that they will play more matches in Western Sydney this summer, with four fixtures set for ENGIE Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Thunder BBL|14 Squad: Wes Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Oliver Davies, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Sam Konstas, Nathan McAndrew, William Salzmann, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha

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