England Test captain Joe Root and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler have reportedly signed deals with Big Bash side Sydney Thunder for the eighth season of the T20 tournament. According to a report by The Telegraph, Root is set for his maiden BBL stint and will be later joined by Buttler, who has enjoyed phenomenal run in the format since the 11th season of the Indian Premier League.
Former champions Thunder have two international vacancies on their roster, but are yet to confirm any overseas signings for the upcoming season. With the dates for their tour of West Indies early next year yet to be finalized, England have a considerable gap post the completion of their tour of Sri Lanka, which ends in late November. This means a majority of their leading players are likely to be available for most of BBL 08.
While Buttler is one of the most sought after players in T20 cricket, Joe Root is yet to establish himself as force in the shortest format of the game. After a poor string of scores, he was eventually dropped from the England side for the final T20I match against India in Bristol.
"Until there's a really good block for me to go and play T20 cricket somewhere in a domestic tournament, it's going to be hard to get a string of games to put that case (that he deserves a place in the T20 team) across," Root had recently said lamenting the packed international schedule. Root has featured in only 11 T20 games since the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup in India.
"I'm fully confident in the ability I have in that format. I can perform in T20 cricket. I don't see it as a closed door for me, but I have to make sure, in the limited opportunities I have, to keep performing."
"I fully understood the decision, that's part of having a really strong squad. You never like it as a player, but having been captain myself I know how hard it can be."
Thunder have already unveiled former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond as their coach earlier this year. They have also resigned Shane Watson and recruited left-arm pacer Daniel Sams from the Sydney Sixers.
Sydney Thunder Squad: Fawad Ahmed, Pat Cummins, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Shane Watson.
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