England duo Jos Buttler and Joe Root have turned their attention to national duties in the West Indies after a seven-game stint at Sydney Thunder.
Buttler departs as the leading run-scorer for the competition with 273 at 39 with a high score of 89. In his first BBL season, Root managed just 93 runs at 15.5 however his impact on the group has stretched beyond the field of play.
“I’ve had a great experience, I’ve found it very beneficial in terms of my own personal game and I’ve really enjoyed being part of Thunder. It’s a great group of guys and good coaching staff that have been very helpful and gave me plenty of opportunities to learn and improve and I feel that I’m going away from this as a better player, the stats and scores might not show that but within myself I know that I’ve come on through this experience and I’m sure in the future this will hold me in great stead and if another opportunity arises to come back here and play I’d love to do so,” said Root after his final game against the Brisbane Heat at Spotless Stadium.
“I’ve tried to give as much as I could back to the rest of the group, it might not have been on the field but around training and speaking to some of the younger guys and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the guys do extremely well for the rest of this campaign.”
England bowler Chris Jordan and New Zealand batsman Anton Devcich will replace Buttler and Root for the second half of the season.
Root said his former England teammate Jordan is a great all-round package.
“He’s obviously known for his skills with the ball up front and at the death in particular, he’s very good at closing games out and finishing an innings and restricting sides, and in the field he’s dynamite and he can whack a long ball,” said Root.
“He’s a great guy who’s very experienced now, he’s played in a lot of domestic tournaments around the world in this format and I’m sure will bring a lot to an inexperienced bowling attack here and they’ll be able to learn so much from him.”
Former England wicket keeper James Foster also moved on recently after a stint at Thunder. As had always been the plan, Foster headed to Khulna to join the Titans for the Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament.
“I was really excited about coming over and to experience these matches and the big crowds. Today’s my last day but it was great to have witnessed the atmosphere of this incredible stadium in Adelaide,” said Foster at his last game on New Year’s Eve.
Foster was welcomed to the Thunder coaching staff after retiring from professional cricket in September following a career that saw him play seven Tests and 11 ODI’s for England.
“(The other coaches have) been brilliant. From day one we had two days of work as a management group, lots of meetings and it was a very easy way to get to know the guys. It was very well planned, a lot of attention to detail and when it got to the players first day back, they were really welcoming. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, gutted to be going, obviously really excited with where I’m about to go but I’ve had a wonderful time.”
The 38-year-old brought a specialist focus on wicket keeping and a very contemporary outlook on coaching having only just retired as a player. Foster worked closely with fellow Englishman Jos Buttler as well as Jay Lenton and Matthew Gilkes.
“It’s just been fun and I think it’s a testament to how it’s been assembled from above, the squad put together by Shane (Bond) and Lee (Germon) and obviously Watto as the skipper. It’s just been a lot of fun, everyone gels really well together, going out for food and coffees whatever it might be, it’s a very easy group to be part of.”
Thunder’s season continues on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Adelaide Strikers at Spotless Stadium.
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