Australia news July 23, 2012

Gayle, Afridi sign with Sydney Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Sydney Thunder have secured two of the biggest names in Twenty20 cricket, with Chris Gayle set to return for the side this year, alongside the Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi. Gayle was the major drawcard for the Thunder last summer, when he topped their run tally with 252 at an average of 42, and the presence of Afridi alongside him will be cause for concern among opposition attacks.

Last season, the Thunder chose Fidel Edwards as their second overseas player but they have opted to go with two powerful batsmen this season. Afridi turned out for the Melbourne Renegades last season and his results with the bat were disappointing, but his ten wickets made him the team's leading wicket taker.

The Thunder were the only side not to name 14 squad members by last Friday, having been granted an extension by Cricket Australia, and they believe the delay was worth the wait. Having finished on the bottom of the table last summer, there is plenty of work ahead of the Thunder this year but Gayle is pleased to be back despite the side's results last year.

"I am really happy to have re-signed with the Thunder," Gayle said. "After my experience last year, I always wanted to return. I love Sydney, so I cannot wait to get amongst the guys again. The Thunder squad is looking good with a solid mix of youth and experience."

Afridi said he was looking forward to joining the Thunder, his third Australian domestic T20 side after South Australia and the Renegades. "I am looking forward to playing in Sydney for the Thunder and helping them earn the bragging rights in the city over the Sixers," Afridi said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sadarat on July 24, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    wowwwwwwwww cant wait 2 c them together......

  • Waseem on July 24, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    it would be a great watch

  • Sreekanth on July 24, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    I think they should allow more overseas players to make BBL competitive. Too many ordinary and weak local players. Just 2 overseas players? atleast 5 should be allowed.

  • Mansoor on July 24, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Its gonna be all 6s no boundaries!!!! but how come sachin come in between gayle and afridi? what the hell?

  • Brendan on July 24, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    two wonderful signings for the Thunder. They will light up the season with massive sixes and some great bowling Afridi's behalf. Who signed David Warner, and are Sri Lankans not aloud to play in this years comp

  • Dummy4 on July 24, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    last time Afridi was failed to contribute with the bat. I am sure this time he will be turn around with the bat.

  • Amjad on July 24, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Btw, when is the BBL starting ?

  • Amjad on July 24, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    wow, what a team.... Afridi should open with Gayle. Its been a while that Afridi has not been send as an opener. Last time he was send as an opener in a county match, he blasted off...

  • Ehsan on July 24, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    @legaleagle well I think he is participating T20 tournament and the "MOST USELESS, OVER-RATED PLAYER" has the best record in T20 internationals in allrounders list better than your own team's so called allrounders

  • Vikram on July 24, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    I don't think the Thunders signed Afridi for his batting skills. It is mostly to do with his bowling skills.

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