Team: Sydney Thunder
City: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Ground: Sydney Showground Stadium
Number of Titles: 1
Who Are the Sydney Thunder?
The Sydney Thunder are one of two Sydney based sides that play in the BBL. They Thunder traditionally play in a lime green coloured kit and hold its home matches at the Sydney Showground Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park which has a capacity of 21,500. The team is currently coached by World Cup winning coach with England Trevor Bayliss and captained by off-spinner Chris Green.
The Thunder have attracted some of the most famous players in the world to come and play for them in the past, including, Chris Gayle, Jacque Kallis, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Andre Russell, Joe Root, Alex Hales, and Jos Butler. Their overseas internationals have been supplemented by Australian greats such as, Shane Watson and Michael Hussey, as well as franchise stalwarts Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, and Daniel Sams.
The Thunders rivalry with other Sydney based side the Sydney Sixers means the fixture is always widely anticipated every year. It is known as the “Sydney Smash”. The Sixers dominated in the early years of the rivalry going undefeated in their first seven fixtures across four seasons. But the Thunder turned this around in BBL05 breaking the Sixers winning streak and winning both fixtures that year. The rivalry has been closely contested ever since.
The BBL History of Sydney Thunder
The Thunder are historically the worst performing team in the BBL. Having finished in 8th place (bottom of the league) on a record four occasions. Three of those were in the first three seasons of the BBL. So, it was fair to say it was slow start for the Thunder. A tiny improvement followed in BBL04 as the team finished second bottom of the league.
However, it all dramatically changed for the Thunder in BBL05. The team qualified for the semi-finals for the first ever time in its history, finishing the league in fourth place. In the semi-finals, the Thunder comfortably beat the Adelaide Strikers by eight wickets, which meant they would go on to face the Melbourne Stars in the final at the MCG. In a close contest, amazingly, the Thunder won by three wickets with just 3 balls to spare.
The Thunder were unable to follow up their success in BBL05 as they failed to qualify for the semi-finals for the next three years. However, since BBL09, the Thunder have qualified for the final stages three years in a row, showing their change in fortunes. But they have been unable to make it to another final in those years.
Who Holds the Sydney Thunder Records?
Usman Khawaja has been the dominant force in the Thunder batting line up ever since BBL01. He has scored the most runs for the franchise with 1,818 runs in 59 innings including two hundreds. Khawaja has been supported by recent import from England, Alex Hales. Hales has managed 1,502 runs the second most runs) in just three seasons with the franchise.
Whilst it is young left-arm quick Daniel Sams who has been the most impressive for the Thunders bowling department. Sams has taken 75 wickets in just 56 matches. Current captain Chris Green and fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu are the only to other bowlers to have taken more than 50 wickets for the franchise.