28 year-old Sri Lankan leg-spinner Ajantha Mendis has become the latest big overseas signing for the Sydney Thunder, providing the team with a major spinning threat for the upcoming KFC T20 Big Bash League.
Mendis, provides a vital piece to the Thunder bowling armoury, with his leg-spin variations and flicked ‘carrom ball’, having deceived batsmen around the world since his Test debut in 2008.
In that match against India in Colombo, he took eight wickets in the game and has since gone on to play 17 Test matches for Sri Lanka, where he has taken 64 wickets at an average of 34.20.
It is in the T20 format that he has really excelled, however, having represented the Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors in the IPL, in addition to Hampshire (England) and the Dhaka Gladiators (Bangladesh).
Standing out amongst his achievements are an overall economy rate of 6.56 over 85 career T20 matches, including the incredible figures of 6-8 against Zimbabwe in September 2012.
Fellow Sri Lankan, coach Chandika Hathurusinge, is 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. 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, was equally looking forward to the opportunity of joining the men in green: “When Chandika spoke to me about the opportunity of playing for the Thunder it was too good an opportunity to pass up. 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 start their campaign with the ‘Sydney Smash’ against the Sixers at the SCG on Saturday 21 December.
The current Thunder contracted list is :
Michael Clarke (C)
Dec 21, 2013 Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder, SCG – 7-15pm
Dec 27, 2013 Sydney Thunder vs Adelaide Strikers, ANZ Stadium – 7-40pm
Jan 1, 2014 Sydney Thunder vs Melbourne Stars, ANZ Stadium – 7-40pm
Jan 3, 2014 Perth Scorchers vs Sydney Thunder, WACA – 4-40pm
Jan 8, 2014 Sydney Thunder vs Brisbane Heat, ANZ Stadium – 7-40pm
Jan 11, 2014 Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Thunder, Blundstone Arena – 1-45pm
Jan 14, 2014 Melbourne Renegades vs Sydney Thunder, Etihad Stadium – 7-40pm
Jan 25, 2014 Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers, ANZ Stadium – 7-15pm
Become a Thunder Member at : www.sydneythunder.com.au/membership