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Paceman Adam Milne opts for Sydney Thunder over Central Districts; James Vince returns to Sixers

The quick bowler has not played for more than a year due to an ankle injury

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
Adam Milne has not played for New Zealand since 2018  •  AFP

Adam Milne has not played for New Zealand since 2018  •  AFP

Sydney Thunder have signed New Zealand quick Adam Milne to bolster their pace attack ahead of the BBL.
Thunder coach Shane Bond has worked closely with the injury-plagued Milne and was delighted to add him to an attack already featuring Daniel Sams, Chris Tremain, Brendan Doggett, and Ben Cutting.
Milne has been released from his Central Districts contract with the blessing of the organisation in order to play for the Thunder and they will look to replace Milne in the coming weeks.
"Adam is fast, he can swing the ball at 140-plus kph. He's a good fielder and is handy with the bat," Bond said. "When you've been to a World Cup, and some of the world's top competitions, you're a serious player and a hardened pro.
"The fact a player of Adam's quality is available for the entire tournament is a real bonus for us. On a personal level, I'm really looking forward to working with him again."
Central Districts CEO Pete de Wet said. "Naturally we are disappointed to lose Adam. He is a quality player, and a valued member of our squad.
"Adam felt the opportunity to play in the Big Bash was too good to pass up and when he approached us to consider his request, he did so knowing that he would have to give up his CD Cricket contract to do so.This is not something that Adam took lightly."
Milne has not played a professional match since August 2019 when he suffered a stress fracture in his ankle in the T20 Blast for Kent. That fracture required two separate surgical procedures, the second coming in January 2020, and kept him out of the entire 2019-20 New Zealand domestic season.
He has not played for New Zealand since November 2018 after debuting as an 18-year-old. He is yet to play any domestic cricket for Central Districts in the Plunket Shield this season due to a hamstring niggle.
But Milne said he was excited about the opportunity to play in the BBL and is grateful to Central Districts for clearing him to play in Australia.
"CD is a great club, with great people," Milne said. "I'm glad the guys understand this is an opportunity that I felt was too good to turn down. "It's a very exciting opportunity to play in the Big Bash League, one of the world's pinnacle T20 competitions.
"You see Australia's passion for cricket reflected in the BBL. Things like the big crowds and the derbies in Sydney and Melbourne make it quite attractive for an overseas player to take part in a competition like that."
"I have so much appreciation for 'Bondy' and the work he did with me at the start of my career," he added. "When I first met him, I was 17/18...and I worked with him for the Black Caps for several years.
"He has a wealth of knowledge about the game and is a great person to work with. He thinks deeply about cricket and is genuinely a good bloke, which helps."
Meanwhile, England batsman James Vince has re-signed with the Sydney Sixers. Vince was an integral part of the Sixers' title last season and re-joins fellow Englishman Tom Curran.
Sydney Thunder squad Callum Ferguson, Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Usman Khawaja, Adam Milne, Nathan McAndrew, Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain
Sydney Sixers squad Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Tom Curran, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques (c), Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne