Big Bash League 2012-13 August 17, 2012

Prior, Guptill signed by Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

Matt Prior, the England wicketkeeper, and the New Zealand opener Martin Guptill have been signed by the Sydney Thunder to substitute for Chris Gayle and Shahid Afridi at various points of this summer's BBL.

Guptill will play for the Thunder in their first match of the tournament, a "derby" against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG on December 5, before Gayle takes his place in the team for the remainder of the matches.

"Martin is an outstanding player in all formats," the Thunder coach Shane Duff said. His T20 record is exceptional and he will be of vital importance to us in the round one game against our cross town rivals."

Prior's role in subbing in for Afridi is less clear, though as England's Test match gloveman he will not be available until the conclusion of the Tests against India, which conclude in Nagpur on December 17.

BBL rules permit the signing of up to four overseas players, though only two may take the field at any one time.