Usman Khawaja has been named new captain of Sydney Thunder replacing Callum Ferguson who was released at the end of the last season.

Khawaja has played his entire BBL career with Thunder and is the club's leading run scorer with 1718 at 33.68 including two centuries.

"It's a great privilege to be captain of any team, but for me especially being captain of Sydney Thunder probably means a little more," Khawaja said.

"I grew up in Western Sydney, about ten minutes from where the Thunder play at Sydney Showground Stadium, and even though I now live in Queensland I have never forgotten where I come from."

Khawaja paid tribute to Ferguson, whose departure from the club was controversial, and added that he would not be looking to bring significant changes to how Thunder go about their game.

"Cal was awesome as a bloke and team-mate - he will be missed amongst the group here for sure," he said. "Me being captain, it's not about reinventing the wheel. Everyone has their own way of captaining a team but having captained various sides for Queensland and Australia A for a few years I think it's important to be who you are.

"I never change who I am just because I am captain. I am usually a bit of a jokester around the team and that doesn't change as a captain. I know when to deliver a message that is serious and when we can be a little more relaxed."

Khawaja will likely be reunited with Alex Hales at the top of the order after his return was confirmed yesterday. Thunder still have two further overseas spots to fill ahead of the tournament starting on December 5 with their first game the following day against Brisbane Heat.