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Gilkes excited for Canberra return

01 December 2021

Manuka Oval // Getty

Thunder set to open BBL|11 campaign against the Heat at Manuka Oval

Thunder batter Matthew Gilkes is no stranger to playing cricket in Canberra.

The young gun grew up on the New South Wales south coast, and played much of his pathway cricket in the nation’s capital.

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Monday’s BBL|11 season opener against the Brisbane Heat at Manuka Oval will be a homecoming of sorts for the 22-year-old.

“I went over to Canberra when I was about 16 and started playing Grade cricket with Western Districts University of Canberra, and played about three seasons there,” said Gilkes.

“I also did all of my training with the ACT Comets.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Canberra, it holds a special place in my heart and I absolutely love getting back there and playing cricket.”

It’s one thing playing grade cricket in the city, but a different prospect running out onto Manuka Oval to play in front of thousands of Thunder fans.

“Manuka is an amazing place to play cricket, it is always a beautiful wicket and an amazing ground,” said Gilkes.

“We always get so much great support from everyone in Canberra, which is amazing – we absolutely love it there.”

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Gilkes has had a busy lead in to BBL|11 as a mainstay in the New South Wales’ Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup teams, and is happy with his form as he prepares to switch NSW blue for Thunder green.

“I feel like I am batting pretty well at the moment,” said Gilkes, who hit a half century against Victoria in his most recent white-ball match.

“I got a few runs in the recent one dayer for New South Wales, so that was nice to take a bit of confidence out of that and hopefully I take that into the start of the BBL.”

Tickets for BBL|11 are now on sale, with family-friendly prices starting from $5 for kids, $25 for adults and $50 for families. Click here to buy now.

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Planning a night out with your clients, colleagues, family or friends this summer? Enjoy a Thunder match in style with our BBL|11 hospitality. To book now or for more information, please click here.

SYDNEY THUNDER BBL|11 HOME GAMES

Mon 6 Dec | V Brisbane Heat | 7:15pm | Manuka Oval

Sun 12 Dec | V Melbourne Stars | 7:15pm | Sydney Showground Stadium

Sun 26 Dec | V Sydney Sixers | 6:05pm | Sydney Showground Stadium

Tues 28 Dec | V Perth Scorchers | 7:15pm | Manuka Oval

Sun 2 Jan | V Adelaide Strikers | 7:15pm | Sydney Showground Stadium

Thurs 13 Jan | V Hobart Hurricanes | 4:00pm | Sydney Showground Stadium

Wed 19 Jan | V Melbourne Renegades | 4:40pm | Sydney Showground Stadium