Big Bash League 2013-14 December 6, 2013

Mendis signs for Sydney Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ajantha Mendis, the Sri Lanka spinner, has signed with Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season of Big Bash League. He is the second Sri Lanka player to sign for Thunder after Tillakaratne Dilshan joined them last month.

Mendis said he was looking forward to joining the Thunder squad. "When Chandika [Hathurusinghe] spoke to me about the opportunity of playing for the Thunder it was too good an opportunity to pass up," Mendis said. "I have watched the success of the BBL and to have a chance to play in it and test myself against some of the best players in the world is extremely exciting. I have seen the great work that the club has done in recruiting a balanced squad and it will be great to team up with the likes of Mike Hussey as well as working closely with the other Thunder spin bowlers."

The Thunder coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, former Sri Lanka batsman, was delighted to have Mendis on board. "The signing of Ajantha is a major boost for the Thunder because he provides both experience and an element of mystery to the bowling line-up," Hathurusinghe said. "He is a proven performer in all formats of the game and has had particular success in the T20 arena where he is someone who can take wickets, which is crucial in slowing the opposition scoring. He is a great guy who will fit well into the Thunder squad and I know that Thunder Nation fans and members will enjoy watching him perform this season."

Mendis has played 85 Twenty20s in which he has a bowling average of 17.71 with 117 wickets and an economy rate of 6.56. He has represented Kandurata Maroons, Nagenahira Nagas and Wayamba in Sri Lanka's domestic T20 competitions; Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors in the IPL; and Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League.

The Thunder, who had also signed England batsman Eoin Morgan in October, start their BBL campaign against Sydney Sixers on December 21 at the SCG.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Steven on December 7, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    While you can debate the merit of such a signing from a cricketing perspective, it's also important to remember the cultural impact this can have, especially in Australia. It works both ways as well: the cricketing public gain an appreciation for big international names up close and personal, and the cricketers get a taste for playing in a foreign yet friendly atmosphere. I think this is the real strength of these leagues... forget the rest!

  • Buddhika on December 7, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    can't say good decision. none of SL match wining players like Thisara,Sachie,Kusal not there.who can be very dangerous to any opposition and highly suited for aussie tracks. Dilshan can get 50 in every match but finally match lost because of his selfish batting. Mendis suited for only spining tracks of subcontinent and may not suited to bouncy aussie wickets

  • Reza on December 7, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Haturusinghe is the best Coach Sri Lanka has produced (too bad we(SL) can use his services). He did so much for Mathews in his early days and Sanga rates him highly!! Its good that Mendis has got an opportunity to work with him, he'd learn alot from him.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    take kusal perera. he will be very useful on australian pitches

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    I am not sure if Medis will be successful on Australian Pitches, Jeevan Mendis could be the better option as he can also bat pretty well in T20s.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    This is great News!! Suddenly the BBL becomes interesting.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    pakistan no 1 team in all format

  • ISNE on December 6, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Good decision by the Thunder team

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