• Thundering new recruit

27 Nov 2013

Nikkie Beltran

SRI LANKAN T20 sensation Tillakaratne Dilshan has joined the ranks of the Sydney Thunder who will call ANZ Stadium home for the upcoming KFC Big Bash League.

The man who famously invented the Dilscoop – smashing Australia’s Mitchell Starc for six over the wicketkeeper’s head in the T20 INTL at ANZ Stadium earlier this year – is one of the world’s most sought-after players in the T20 format.

Dilshan is an aggressive right-hand batsman, sensational fielder and capable off-spin bowler and will be one of the star attractions of a rejuvenated Sydney Thunder lineup.

He will join captain Michael Clarke, Dave Warner, Mike Hussey Usman Khawaja and Dirk Nannes in Thunder green for the BBL season, which starts 20 December. The Thunder’s first home game at ANZ Stadium is against the Adelaide Sixers on Friday 27 December.

Dilshan will miss Thunder's first two matches because of Sri Lanka's ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE until December 27 but will be available thereafter. He will make his debut in match three against the Melbourne Stars at ANZ Stadium on New Year’s Day.

''I'm really keen to play in the Big Bash. It's such a wonderful, competitive tournament,'' Dilshan said. ''I've been hoping to play for the past three years but [each time] I've had to go for international duty. This year I'm free to play almost the entire tournament. It's really exciting. I've always enjoyed Australian wickets, with the extra bounce. I'm really eager for this opportunity.''

Dilshan, who had retired from Test cricket in October, said his decision was influenced by his relationship with the Thunder coach, former Sri Lanka batsman Chandika Hathurusinghe.

Dilshan won the award of Twenty20 International Performance of the Year at the 2009 ICC Awards for his 96 off 57 balls against West Indies in the semi-final of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England. He also won Man of the Series trophy for his individual batting performances in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

His experience says it all:

  • 87 Test matches
  • 270 One Day Internationals
  • 146 Domestic T20 matches
  • 50 T20 Internationals
  • Played in World Cups
  • Played in T20 World Championships

Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe is thrilled about his new recruit having seen Dilshan’s skills first-hand:

“Having worked closely with Dilshan during my time with the Sri Lankan squad I was very keen to get him to the Thunder this season. He is a match-winner with the bat, but will also provide us with another spinning option with the ball as well as being a brilliant fielder. He has played at the highest level for a long time and knows how to perform on the big stage and he will a major attraction for Thunder members and fans this summer.”

This international signing is just one in the list of exciting acquisitions by the Sydney Thunder who are looking to take the third Big Bash League by storm.

The current Thunder contracted list is:

  • Michael Clarke (c)
  • Mike Hussey
  • Cameron Borgas
  • Ryan Carters
  • Scott Coyte
  • Tillakaratne Dilshan
  • Luke Doran
  • Luke Feldman
  • Jason Floros
  • Daniel Hughes
  • Usman Khawaja
  • Eoin Morgan
  • Dirk Nannes
  • Kurtis Patterson
  • Gurinder Sandhu
  • Chris Tremain
  • David Warner
  • Jeremy Maher
  • Jake Doran

For tickets to the Sydney Thunder fixtures at ANZ Stadium click on the links below:

From just $42.50, the whole family can grab a slice of the action.

Fans looking for a night out with friends also get great value for money with single match general admission tickets from just $20 for an adult, $5 for a child and $12 for a student. It’s T20 for $20!

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