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Plenty of belief in Thunder squad

16 December 2019

Usman Khawaja

13-player squad named for opening match at the Gabba

Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said the 13-man squad selected for the KFC Big Bash League's opening match against Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Tuesday reflected the depth of talent at his disposal.

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"I'm very excited about this season, we're ready to go," said Bond. "It's always nice to be in a position where it doesn't matter who - out of the 18 in the squad - you put on the field, you feel as though you're capable of winning games."

While Bond has a number of heavyweights including Usman Khawaja, skipper Callum Ferguson and England's heavy hitting Alex Hales, he praised the all-round nature of Thunder's BBL|09 squad as its strength

"We have a fantastic squad," Bond said. "Our goal is to win the tournament, and we think we have the squad capable of doing it."

Bond's spirits were buoyed by Thunder's performances to defeat Sydney Sixers in their two pre-season trials - including the second game which went down to the last ball of the match at the SCG on Saturday night.

"The great thing is the boys take a lot of confidence from knowing a lot of the stuff we're working on has been done well [on the field] and we just need to keep working on that.

"We had the chance to do it right in the trial games - and we did."

Skipper Callum Ferguson said the quality of Thunder's squad was the result of "a lot of hard work" and astute recruitment.

"We've managed to bring in two overseas players including [South African] Chris Morris, who isn't available for our first game, and Alex Hales from England... a fantastic player," said Ferguson.

"We also have Alex Ross from the Brisbane Heat; [fast bowler] Brendan Doggett is here, also from the Heat. He'll have opponents jumping as if they're on a hot tin roof, and Chris Tremain has returned [to Thunder from the Melbourne Renegades]."

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Twelve months after being named as Sydney Thunder's development rookie, 17-year-old leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha has forced his way into the squad. 

Another former Thunder development rookie, fast bowler Liam Hatcher, was named in the squad to travel to Brisbane after the BBL's Technical Committee rubber-stamped the club's request to sign him as an injury replacement player for Gurinder Sandhu.

Under the tournament's rules, Hatcher will need to either play in the starting XI or be selected as 12th man against the Heat.

Sandhu has been sidelined by a calf muscle strain in his left leg which occurred while training with Tasmania.

Thunder's physiotherapist Murray Ryan said Sandhu's rehabilitation over the next week would determine his availability.

Live coverage of Thunder’s opening match against the Heat will be shown on Fox Cricket and Channel Seven. 

BBL Squad vs Brisbane Heat on Tuesday 17 December

Callum Ferguson (12) (C)

Jonathan Cook (50) 

Matthew Gilkes (22)

Chris Green (93)

Alex Hales (6)

Liam Hatcher (19)

Usman Khawaja (18)

Nathan McAndrew (44)

Arjun Nair (7)

Alex Ross (49)

Dan Sams (60)

Tanveer Sangha (17)

Chris Tremain (20)

Sydney Thunder play its first home game of the season against the Adelaide Strikers at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Saturday 21 December at 6.10pm.

Thunder opens its account at Sydney Showground Stadium against Melbourne Stars on Thursday January 2 at 3.40pm.

Tickets are now on sale at sydneythunder.com.au/tickets.

BBL|09 Tickets

Saturday 21 December 2019 | Vs Adelaide Strikers | Manuka Oval | 6.10pm

Thursday 2 January | Vs Melbourne Stars | Sydney Showground Stadium | 3.40PM

Monday 6 January | Vs Brisbane Heat | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7.10PM

Saturday 11 January | Vs Hobart Hurricanes | Sydney Showground Stadium | 6.10PM

Wednesday 15 January | Vs Melbourne Renegades | Manuka Oval | 6.10pm

Saturday 18 January | Vs Sydney Sixers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 7.10PM

Sunday 26 January | Vs Perth Scorchers | Sydney Showground Stadium | 2.45PM