Michael Klinger, CNSW’s Head of Male Cricket, knew he’d made the right suggestion for Usman Khawaja’s replacement - while Thunder’s captain is with the Australian squad - when the coaching staff’s eyes’ lit up upon hearing Sam Whiteman was available for this summer’s KFC Big Bash League.
“Sam has a really good record batting in the top three for Perth Scorchers, and when I mentioned to Thunder’s coaching staff they were excited by it,” said Klinger. “And the fact we were able to get him on board at the Thunder is fantastic.”
Sam Whiteman's good run of form continues in Hobart! He's moved to 65 in the #MarshCup to back up his 176no in the Shield earlier this week.— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 26, 2021
WA 1-147 at Blundstone Arena. Follow live https://t.co/ZKt4iwgJtT pic.twitter.com/xDhoIZp9x5
Whiteman, a three-time BBL title winning player for the Scorchers, represented Perth in 42 matches from 2013-20 and hammered 628 runs at a strike rate of 122.41.
The hard-hitting left-hander made headlines in 2014 when he and Mitchell Marsh combined for a memorable 371-run partnership in an unofficial Test match for Australia A against India A. Whiteman scored 174, and played an important role in helping to set an Australian record seventh-wicket stand.
“It’s exciting for Sam to sign with Sydney Thunder as a replacement for Usman,” said Klinger of the 29-year-old. “We don’t know exactly how many games Usman will be out for, but we assume he’ll either be in the Test squad, or just out of it, but either way we expect he’ll be away for some of the tournament.
“He hits to unorthodox areas, and that can make him really hard to set fields to. He’s a strong performer in all formats, he scored 170-odd the other day for Western Australia (against Tasmania), and he’s scored some big hundreds in Shield cricket – and he performed well for the Scorchers.
“He didn’t get an opportunity last summer because the Scorchers had three imports with Colin Munro, Liam Livingstone and Jason Roy. But I have no doubt if given the opportunity this summer, he’ll show Thunder fans what he can do.”
SYDNEY THUNDER BBL|11 SQUAD
Head Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Assistants: Shawn Bradstreet, Chandika Hathurusinghe
Players: Usman Khawaja (C), Sam Billings (ENG), Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (ENG), Baxter Holt, Saqib Mahmood (ENG), Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain, Sam Whiteman (Replacement Player for Usman Khawaja)
Thunder is set to open its BBL|11 campaign against the Brisbane Heat on Monday 6 December at Manuka Oval.
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