Sydney Thunder has made two changes to its 13-player squad that will face the Melbourne Renegades at Spotless Stadium in the KFC Big Bash League tomorrow evening (7:15pm start).
Sam Rainbird who has played seven games so far this season rejoins the squad in place of Nathan McAndrew. Jason Sangha also returns to the squad having represented the CA XI against Sri Lanka in Hobart last week. He replaces Ryan Gibson.
“What happened at the Gabba was obviously very disappointing but as a club we’ve put in our claim now and for us as a team it’s about moving forward,” said Chris Green.
“There’s still five very important games left in the season for us to try lock away our spot in the finals and as a group I know we’re really excited for our last home game here at Spotless tomorrow night.
“We’ve got an amazing fan support here and the atmosphere we know is going to be electric so we’re really looking forward to our first clash against Melbourne Renegades this season.”
“You look at the other teams once you’ve finished your fourteen games and then you start worrying about who should be beating who, because there are so many games left in this competition. We’ve just go about putting our best performance in tomorrow night.”
One player not available to Thunder is Kurtis Patterson who has been called into the Australian Test squad for the First Test against Sri Lanka at The Gabba starting on Thursday.
“It’s awesome to see, he’s hit two centuries against Sri Lanka down in Tasmania. I was so happy for him, he’s worked so hard over the past few years,” said Green.
“I’m really stoked to see him in that squad and hopefully he gets his opportunity.”
Prior to the KFC Big Bash League game, teams representing the Afghanistan and Nepalese communities will contest the final of the Thunder Nation Cup (3:45pm start).
This year the Thunder Nation Cup was contested by teams representing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Fiji, Nepal and African Nations with close to a 1,000 participants trialling to represent their community.
“It is something we have worked towards for a long time. We have been persistent. Our team is all pumped up and ready to bring the trophy home,” said Ajay Kshatry, who coordinates the Nepalese Cricket Association of Australia (NCAA) in Sydney.
“It is massive, something our community is proud of. This is a perfect milestone not only for the NCAA player but also for the whole community”.
This year will be the first time in four years that India and Pakistan have not contested the final.
“For the Afghan community it’s a great honour to play the final,” said Hameed Kherkhah a former Sydney Thunder Community Rookie who will captain the Afghanistan side.
“It has been a long time in the making and to play the final at Spotless Stadium, at the home of Sydney Thunder, is a great privilege.”
Proceeds from the games’ HomeWorld 50-50 Charity Raffle will be donated towards two educational community projects, Mahboba’s Promise in Afghanistan and Heartland Academy in Nepal.
Sydney Thunder 13-player squad to face the Melbourne Renegades:
Shane Watson (c)
Sydney Thunder tickets: