As you may well be aware this summer will see our men’s team play two extra fixtures with ten games split evenly home and away.
This presented us with the perfect opportunity to reward our loyal supporters who have regularly travelled many hours in strong numbers to Sydney Olympic Park over the past six years from across the Thunder Nation.
With the help of our partners at Cricket Australia, Cricket ACT and Visit Canberra we were able to secure a BBL and WBBL double header at Manuka Oval, Canberra, on 24 January 2018.
It is no secret that this region is an important part of the Thunder Nation and has been since the club’s inception. As well as our Game and Development staff based in Western Sydney we also have a passionate team based in Canberra and across NSW delivering a range of programs including the Thunder Girls Cricket League, MILO T20 Blast School Cups, MILO In2Cricket Skills, the MoneyGram Thunder Nation Cup and entry level programs.
Many of you will also have seen the Mazda Thunder Bus at Family Zone in Spotless Stadium, a Fan Day or a local community event. In the past month it has travelled thousands of kilometers and seen more than 3,000 children in schools and cricket clubs across the ACT and Regional NSW as we look to expand the reach of the Big Bash.
A few weeks ago I took great pleasure in joining members of our coaching staff in selecting Blake Macdonald and Claire Murray from trials at Manuka Oval as the club’s ACT and Regional NSW Rookies. The pair will spend time with the club’s BBL and WBBL squads during the season and join our Academy pathway, that already includes promising youngsters from the region as we look to develop the next generation of Sydney Thunder stars from our region.
We have already seen from strong initial ticket sales that Canberra is passionate about cricket and we are hoping with the support of the Canberra cricket community we can sell the game out, sending a clear signal that we should aim to bring more Thunder matches to the ACT in future.
We are looking forward to delivering a fantastic event on 24 January when we play the Melbourne Renegades. I’ve spoken to many fans and members who are looking forward to watching Alex Blackwell and Shane Watson as they lead their respective teams in what I’m sure will be an incredibly important fixture.
I’m excited to see our annual Fan Day return to Rouse Hill on 17 December and this year we will host Super Clinics in Penrith, the Inner West, Camden, Albury-Wodonga and Canberra giving junior cricketers the experience of meeting their Sydney Thunder heroes.
I look forward to seeing you at Spotless Stadium, Penrith, Wagga Wagga and Canberra this summer in what I’m sure will be an enjoyable and memorable summer of BBL and WBBL cricket.
General Manager, Sydney Thunder