Mendis signs for Sydney Thunder
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.