Images courtesy of: The Telegraph and ESPNcricinfo
The Sydney Thunder have managed to sign a number of high-profile players in the past couple of months
The Sydney Thunder have signed unorthodox Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis and England all-rounder Chris Woakes for the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League (BBL).
While Mendis hasn’t been a regular face in Sri Lanka’s limited overs squad, he still possesses the ability to demolish batting line-ups, which he demonstrated very well during the 2012 World Twenty20 when he took six wickets for just eight runs against Zimbabwe.
Mendis stated that he was looking forward to representing the Thunder and working alongside head coach Chandika Hathurusinge.
“When Chandika spoke to me about the opportunity of playing for the Thunder it was too good an opportunity to pass up,” Mendis said. “I have watched the success of the BBL and to have a chance to play in it and test myself against some of the best players in the world is extremely exciting.
“I have seen the great work that the club has done in recruiting a balanced squad and it will be great to team up with the likes of Mike Hussey as well as working closely with the other Thunder spin bowlers.”
Hathurusinghe was ecstatic to have secured the services of Mendis, and said: “The signing of Ajantha is a major boost for the Thunder, because he provides both experience and an element of mystery to the bowling line-up.
“He is a proven performer in all formats of the game and has had particular success in the T20 arena where he is someone who can take wickets, which is crucial in slowing the opposition scoring.
“He is a great guy who will fit well into the Thunder squad and I know that Thunder Nation fans and members will enjoy watching him perform this season.”
Meanwhile, Woakes has proven that he can be a lethal all-rounder as he has the ability to smash the ball out of the ground, as well as pick up wickets at crucial moments during matches.
In his second ODI for England, Woakes ripped through the Australian batting line-up and ended up finishing with match figures of six wickets for 45 runs.
Thunder general manager Nick Cummins was delighted to welcome Woakes aboard.
“Getting a player of Chris’ all-round ability is a major bonus for the Thunder,” Cummins said. “As someone who bowls with good pace and is more than capable of clearing the ropes with the bat, he will provide us with a high quality performer.
“He will play the first two matches for the Thunder alongside Eoin [Morgan], and I know that he is excited about the prospect of playing in the Big Bash and helping the Thunder get off to a strong start in the competition.”