More than two years after he made his BBL debut as a 19-year-old, and a long journey back from injury, wicketkeeper Baxter Holt has re-signed with the Sydney Thunder for the next two Big Bash campaigns.
Holt, now 21, debuted for the Thunder in January 2019 and last season joined the squad as a full-time member, playing four matches before England International Sam Billings took the gloves.
The former Australian Under 19 representative is also a core part of the NSW Blues squad elevated from a rookie to full-time contract for the 2021-22 season.
Holt joins several emerging stars in Thunder’s BBL|11 squad like fellow keeper-batter Matt Gilkes, power hitter Ollie Davies and leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha.
“It’s pretty special, it feels really good (and to have) that security of a two-year deal shows the club has faith in me,” Holt said.
Holt returned to regular cricket last season following an arduous recovery from a back injury which involved re-learning how to properly move and walk, such was the extent of the damage.
But after getting through a full season injury free, Holt now has much more confidence in his body.
“The body is in a really good place now actually,” he said.
“That was the biggest worry throughout last year and I was more hoping I’d get through than actually knowing I could. The ability I know that I can get through a full season now is a massive tick.”
Not only was it a boost of confidence to be back on the field, but the opportunity to ‘rub shoulders’ with the world’s best for a full season was a bonus.
“You had Sam Billings who has played a number of games for England now, Usman Khawaja who’s played numerous games for Australia and dominated (at that level), Alex Hales who we all know how good he is… you learn so much more off them than you do anyone else.”
Sydney Thunder BBL Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Assistant Coach: Shawn Bradstreet
Contracted for BBL|11: Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
Sydney Thunder BBL|11 Fixtures (All AEDT Start Times)
Mon 6 Dec | Vs Brisbane Heat | 7:15pm | Manuka Oval
Fri 10 Dec | Vs Melbourne Stars | 7:15pm | MCG
Sun 12 Dec | Vs Melbourne Stars | 7:15pm | Sydney Showground Stadium
Sun 19 Dec | Vs Brisbane Heat | 7:40pm | Gabba
Sun 26 Dec | Vs Sydney Sixers | 6:05pm | Sydney Showground Stadium
Tues 28 Dec | Vs Perth Scorchers | 7:15pm | Manuka Oval
Fri 31 Dec | Vs Adelaide Strikers | 7:15pm | Adelaide Oval
Sun 2 Jan | Vs Adelaide Strikers | 7:15pm | Sydney Showground Stadium
Wed 5 Jan | Vs Perth Scorchers | 9:15pm | Optus Stadium
Sat 8 Jan | Vs Melbourne Renegades | 6:05pm | Marvel Stadium
Mon 10 Jan | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | 7:15pm | University of Tasmania Stadium
Thurs 13 Jan | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | 4:00pm | Sydney Showground Stadium
Sat 15 Jan | Vs Sydney Sixers | 7:40pm | SCG
Wed 19 Jan | Vs Melbourne Renegades | 4:40pm | Sydney Showground Stadium