Sydney Thunder has promoted Jason Sangha and Param Uppal from the Thunder Academy ahead of the upcoming KFC Big Bash League season.
The teenagers who co-captained the Australia Under 19s against Sri Lanka earlier in the year have spent the past two seasons with the highly acclaimed Thunder Academy, with both also being selected in Australia’s preliminary squad for the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.
Param Uppal will be the club’s Development Rookie for the season while Jason Sangha has been awarded a Thunder Foundation Scholarship.
“It’s really exciting for me to be around the squad with players like Watto and Usman, it’ll be a great opportunity for me to learn from the best,” said Uppal.
“Being from Western Sydney, everyone supports the Thunder. I’ve grown up as a Thunder fan, so for me to now have a chance to mix with the senior squad will be really cool.”
Uppal (19) played six games during the recent One Day Cup for the CA XI and plays his NSW Premier Cricket for Liverpool-Fairfield.
“Captaining Australia U19s was a great stepping stone for me,” said Uppal.
“I had the chance to manage some of the best young players in Australia such as Cameron Green and Jason Sangha. Hopefully in the future I can replicate that for the Thunder.”
Thunder Foundation Scholar Jason Sangha (18) recently became the youngest player to score two NSW Premier Cricket centuries since current Australian captain, Steve Smith in March 2007.
“I was fortunate last year to get a taste of being around the squad, I really enjoyed it so I’m really looking forward to the second year,” said Sangha who scored his maiden First Class century against England earlier this month.
“It was an amazing experience. I’m not going to go on about it because it is only one knock, but for me it proves that my skill set is where it needs to be and that I can score big runs against quality opposition.
“My aim now is to find that consistency so I can go out and repeat that sort of innings regularly.”
Sydney Thunder Director of Cricket Michael Hussey is keen for the club to continue to produce exciting young cricketers.
“I think Jason is someone who we hope will be a future star for Thunder,” said Sydney Thunder Director of Cricket Michael Hussey.
“We’ve invested in him for the past few years, it’s great that he loves Thunder and what we stand for. It’s very exciting to have him on board.
“Param’s also an exciting prospect for the future. He also offers some handy off-spin and he has some good leadership qualities that we are really interested in developing further.
“Like Jason we see him as a long term prospect and a future star for many years to come. We’re really keen to invest in him and help him develop his game.
Thunder has seen eight players graduate through the Thunder Academy, which is coached by Thunder Assistant Coach Shawn Bradstreet.
“We’ve got a strong Academy program,” said Director of Cricket Michael Hussey.
“We really believe through the program that we will give the players a strong grounding and show them that there is a pathway to the Big Bash. We’ve proven that with guys like Ryan Gibson who we were able to develop at a good rate and who can now make a real impact in the team.”
The Thunder Foundation is Sydney Thunder's charitable arm and exists to give back to the community with support of the Australian Sports Foundation. For more information, visit thunderfoundation.com.au.
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