Sydney Thunder has signed 25-year old all-rounder Daniel Sams from the Sydney Sixers on the same day that captain Shane Watson extended his contract with the club for a further two seasons.
Sams was part of the Thunder Academy ahead of last season before being offered a contract by the Sydney Sixers as a replacement player.
“The Thunder Academy was really enjoyable and I took a few new things away from it. It was really valuable for me,” said Sams who took 4 for 14 against Thunder at Spotless Stadium
“It’s a good ground, I love Spotless. The wicket being a little slower and lower really works for me.”
Sams played three first class fixtures in New Zealand last year before playing six games for the Sydney Sixers taking seven wickets.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence,” said Daniel Sams.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and being successful, hopefully getting Thunder to the finals and winning a trophy.
“In the Academy I did a few sessions with Watto. The way he goes about his cricket is the same mind frame that I have. The big thing he talks about is to back your ability.”
Shane Watson continued his fine form from last season’s BBL with an unbeaten 117 helping the Chennai Super Kings win in the final of the Indian Premier League. Watson credited his success in last season's BBL to playing for Sutherland in Sydney Premier Cricket.
“It’s exciting to be able to get a few more years with the Thunder,” said Shane Watson.
“It was nice to be able to contribute last season as well as throughout the PSL and IPL.
“Part of Sydney Thunder is developing the next generation of Australian cricketers. We’ve got a lot of young talent, and the squad will be younger next season.
“The beauty of playing grade means I can continue to help out and get to know the guys before the week leading into the first game.
Sydney Thunder Head Coach Shane Bond believes extending Watson’s contract will ensure much needed continuity for the season ahead.
“Shane’s been at the heart of Thunder for a number of seasons,” said Sydney Thunder Head Coach Shane Bond.
“As a player and as a person he epitomises everything about the club. It’s great to have him around the group for another couple of years. From my point of view it is exciting to get to work with Shane having spent so many years playing against him.”
Bond has been following Sams since he impressed playing for Canterbury last year when he averaged 40.16 with the bat and took 11-wickets.
“He’s a great signing,” said Bond.
“I first saw him when he came out and played for Canterbury. They spoke really highly of him there, not just with the ball but with the bat after he scored a lot of runs. He’s a good all-round talent and that is a real bonus for us.”
This season’s KFC Big Bash League has been expanded to a full home-and-away season for the first time, with Sydney Thunder memberships set to go on sale in the next few weeks.