England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler will return for a second stint in the Big Bash League, this time with the Sydney Thunder. Buttler is expected to be available for the first six games of the tournament, which starts from December 19, before the start of England's limited-overs series against Australia and the tour of New Zealand.
Buttler's previous BBL appearance came in 2013-14 for the Melbourne Renegades - in that instance, too, he played five matches in the BBL before turning out in the limited-overs series, which had followed the Ashes Tests. Buttler joined Australia's Callum Ferguson and New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan as the side's new recruits for this season, and was excited at working with former Australia batsman Michael Hussey, who is the franchise's Director of Cricket.
"I'm delighted to be part of Thunder and get stuck in. Mike Hussey is someone I've really admired and I'm really excited to meet him," Buttler said. "I'm really excited. I've played in the BBL once before, ahead of England's last ODI tour to Australia. I've watched the competition go from strength to strength to become one of the best competitions in the world. The crowds are fantastic and there's a big family emphasis which creates a great atmosphere."
Hussey said the Thunder had a strategy in place for Buttler's unavailability for the second half of the League, and stated that the batsman's ability to bat in the top and middle order offered the team flexibility in terms of combinations.
"He can bat at the top of the order like he does for the Mumbai Indians and also in the middle order," Hussey said. "We've done a lot of homework and asked around and all the feedback we've heard is that he's a fantastic character that will add a lot to the dressing room.
"We know we're going to lose him for the second half of the season but we have a strategy in place for that. I feel that we're well placed to start the tournament well and it's important to get a few wins on the board early as it can get pretty close late on."