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Gayle, Afridi sign with Sydney Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 23, 2012

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Shahid Afridi slaps one on his way to a half-century, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Hambantota
Shahid Afridi has signed with the Sydney Thunder © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Chris Gayle | Shahid Afridi
Teams: Australia

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by saqibali07 on (July 24, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

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

Posted by gidmid on (July 24, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

it would be a great watch

Posted by yoohoo 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.

Posted by MansoorKoondhar 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?

Posted by Buckers410 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

Posted by   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.

Posted by Amjad.Khan on (July 24, 2012, 5:40 GMT)

Btw, when is the BBL starting ?

Posted by Amjad.Khan 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...

Posted by scandalboy 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

Posted by xylo 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.

Posted by getsetgopk on (July 24, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

Afridi The Greatest Cricketer Of All Times!

Posted by Legaleagle on (July 24, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

Afridi- MOST USELESS, OVER-RATED PLAYER!!! Lost way more matches than he won for any side!

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

people seem to forget that afridi is also a good fielder, he's just in the wrong side (pakistan) because most of them are terrible fielders

In a good side with other good fielders his effect will be multiplied.

Posted by   on (July 24, 2012, 0:27 GMT)

@snbirdi Dude! do you watch cricket or what? He is a bowling all rounder. In T20I, he is the leading wicket taker with 58 wickets at an economy rate of just 6.13 (Lowest economy rate among the top 10 T20I bowlers). He is undoubtedly the best bowler of T20 Cricket. That's not it! He is even the tenth highest run getter in T20Internationals. However, his bowling is his main power. Thus, he is a complete package and considered undoubtedly the best all round in T20 Cricket. Name one all rounder that has a better T20I record than him?

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

sachin is a great player, he proves his batting on all continents....

Posted by ahabib on (July 23, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

I think what Zaltzman may have meant is that Afridi's batting skills are comparable to Kumble's.

Posted by drewkatski on (July 23, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

@snbirdi Totally Agree with you Cheerios M8!

Posted by Rafelgibt on (July 23, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

Its a very good selection..........Gayle the batting force with bit of bowling and Afridi the spinning force with bit of sixes a very good combination...............

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

oh goodness cant wait anymore after this news!!!!!!!!!!! immensly talented hitters and sensational personalities .one (afridi) having da advantage ov his outrageous bowling while da other (gayle) having da advantage ov his phenomenal hitting!!!!!!!! i will nt watch bbl bcoz i know da result, its sydney thunder-the champion insallah!!!!!!!!! long live boom boom afridi!!!!!!

Posted by Farrukh.91. on (July 23, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Classic, will the dream of Afridi and Gayle opening the innings and destroying the opposition come true?

Posted by cram2jam on (July 23, 2012, 13:38 GMT)

No one counts on Afridi's batting anymore. He is more of a bowling allrounder or rather a bowler who can bat

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (July 23, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

@snbirdi - Sehwag does not make up for batting failure with bowling prowess, and athletic fielding like Afridi the Everliving!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

@snbirdi Dude, Afridi can turn the match with his leggies but Sehwag can't. Afridi is successful in this format because of his bowling rather than batting

Posted by Suhailmarsh on (July 23, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Who cares about Gayle and Afridi. This BBL title wil be for one team Perth Scorchers. Because they have Shaun Marsh, the silent killer

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

This title is for Sydney Thunder only

Posted by sabee66 on (July 23, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

Afridi is the best alrounder of all times, he is way too good with the ball with the bad occasionaly he is OMG, how did he do it? Gyle no words for this guy Indian can't play in Australian pitches or condition, we just have seen enough, they are too god in their home, better IPL

Posted by EngineerKhan on (July 23, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

@snbiri: I can agree somewhow with you but first of all its not once in 20 games. And secondly, Afridi is Kumble and Sehwag together (Andy Zaltzman said this, not me but I agree) and no matter how bad days he would be having with the bat, he will click with the ball InshaAllah. With Renegades, he clicked in the last couple of games with the bat when he was promoted up the order. I personally think both should open together. By doing so, they will not overrely on Afridi's batting and when he will click, then we will have some real nightmare for the bowlers in Gayle + Afridi

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

Afridi is lethal with the ball and the bat.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Because the indian player are not good enough for the AUS condition including Sachin

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (July 23, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

@snbirdi Afridi is a bowling allrounder, don't count on him on his batting.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

why indian players r not part of 20-20 in Aus???

Posted by azeesajid on (July 23, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

With the inclusion of Afridi & Gayle sydney thunder will become a strong big bash team.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

just imagine gayle and afridi batting together....................BOOM BOOM

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

Wow...Both of these players would be a nightmare for Sydney Thunder...

Posted by snbirdi on (July 23, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

Ok, let's get excited for Gayle but why bother being excited for Afridi? He's like Sehwag, they click once in 20 games and people think they're amazing batsmen. Both are extremely overrated. Afridi is a waste of money and a place on the team that could be given to a better player for Sydney Thunder just like Sehwag is a waste for Daredevils.

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Well that will be a deadly combination for sure !!!

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 8:34 GMT)

Goodbye Renegades.... Here I come Sydney Thunder! :P

Posted by   on (July 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

and sydney thuder it is ..looking forward to see them both...!!!

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