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Thunder name squad for Renegades clash

18 January 2022

Usman Khawaja available following national duties

After starring in the Baggy Green Test cap of Australia, Usman Khawaja said it would be special  to wear Sydney Thunder’s distinctive green shirt in tomorrow’s KFC Big Bash League match against the Melbourne Renegades at the MCG.

Khawaja, who enjoyed a phenomenal return to the Australian Test team with twin centuries against England in the New Year’s Test in Sydney, made his intention to play for Thunder crystal clear upon his arrival in Melbourne this afternoon.

“I plan to,” said Khawaja when asked if he’d pad up against the Renegades tomorrow.

“I’m pretty tired at the moment, but I have a little bit of time between now and then so I’m looking forward to it.”

Khawaja said he’d admired how the team had performed to sit third on the ladder during a season that’s had its share of COVID-19 related hurdles.

“Just an unbelievable effort by everyone,” he enthused. “Everyone has contributed.

“It seems everyone has had a score with the bat and all the bowlers have had a good game, or a few good games, at some point.

“It’s just been a really good all-round effort,” he said. “Normally you have a couple of guys that are standing up and carrying the team – which is pretty normal T20 cricket, and what you kind of want.

“But at the moment it seems as though everyone has been performing... it seems a hard team to crack back into.”

Khawaja also praised Chris Green for the job he’s done in leading Thunder.

“I haven’t been around, but the team has been performing really well,” he said. “I’ve touched base here and there with ‘Greeny’ and a few of the other guys; they’re always a good bunch of blokes who love playing cricket and love enjoying their banter.”

“I’m still on the WhatsApp groups and listen to what’s going on, and there’s been a really good vibe. Fingers crossed we can get another win leading into the final and finish as high as possible.”

Khawaja said his message to Thunder Nation was that he’s committed to doing everything possible to help the team win its second BBL championship title.

“Hopefully try to get a win tomorrow, and try to get another trophy,” he said of his ambitions. “It seems like BBL|05 doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was... so, try to do my best for that, and try to contribute to a win.

“I love the green, I love Thunder.

“That’s where I grew up playing, Western Sydney – I’m a Westie – so it just has that little bit more of a feeling.”

Sydney Thunder Squad v Melbourne Renegades

# Player  Junior Club 
50 Jonathon Cook St Andrews JCC
31 Ben Cutting MacGregor JCC
9 Ollie Davies Harbord Devils JCC
35 Brendan Doggett Southern Districts JCC
22 Matthew Gilkes Ulladulla United JCC
93 Chris Green St Ives JCC
6 Alex Hales Gerrards Cross JCC (England)
55 Lachlan Hearne (Local Replacement Player)  Roseville JCC
27 Baxter Holt Carlingford Waratah JCC
18 Usman Khawaja Sydney Coastal JCC
44 Nathan McAndrew Oak Flats JCC
10 Arjun Nair (Local Replacement Player)  Wenty Leagues Club JCC
49  Alex Ross Kensington JCC
95 Daniel Sams Panania-East Hills RSL JCC
28 Gurinder Sandhu Plumpton-Glendenning JCC
23 Jason Sangha Wallsend JCC
17 Tanveer Sangha Ingleburn RSL JCC
20 Chris Tremain Kinross Wolaroi JCC
3 Sam Whiteman (Local Replacement Player) Colts JCC

Sydney Thunder will announce its captain for tomorrow's match against the Renegades at the bat flip.