Big Bash League 2014-15 July 2, 2014

Paddy Upton to coach Sydney Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

Paddy Upton will coach Sydney Thunder in the next Big Bash League season. Upton is the performance director of the South Africa team and is also the head coach of the IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals. He was also the mental conditioning coach of the Indian team until the 2011 World Cup, during Gary Kirsten's stint with the national side.

Upton will replace Chandika Hathurusingha, who left New South Wales to take up the job of Bangladesh head coach. He will be looking to revive the fortunes of the Sydney Thunder, who had 19 successive defeats across the last three seasons.

Upton will coach a team that includes Thunder's latest signing Jacques Kallis, with whom he has worked for a long time. Upton said he hoped to establish a relationship with Thunder captain Michael Hussey that could help the team break its trend of last-place finishes. Hussey had spoken with Upton about joining Thunder during IPL 2014.

It's exciting to be able to work with a team that's got so much to win and so much to play for," Upton said after his appointment. "It's about harnessing what the younger, less experienced players have got to offer because their contributions are going to be as key to the Thunder's success as Mike Hussey's.

"I will look to get those senior players more engaged with the younger players than any other team would be doing."

The Big Bash League will be played between December 18 and January 28 and Sydney Thunder will play their first match against Brisbane Heat on December 21.