Mitchell McClenaghan has signed up with the Sydney Thunder ahead of the 2017-18 Big Bash League. The left-arm quick, who has played 48 ODIs and 28 T20Is for New Zealand, recently opted out of his NZC central contract in a bid to pursue a career playing in T20 leagues around the world.
McClenaghan was part of Mumbai Indians’ title-winning squad in the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League, and followed that up by playing for St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League. He is also set to play for Durban Qalandars in the newly launched T20 Global League in South Africa shortly before he joins his Thunder team-mates in the BBL.
It was while playing in the CPL that McClenaghan decided to sign for the Thunder, he told cricket.com.au.
“I spent some time at the St Lucia Stars with Shane Watson and got to know his outlook on the game and hear his passion for Sydney Thunder and the organisation,” McClenaghan said. “I’ve admired watching his career and seeing how it’s progressed. I enjoyed playing alongside him in St Lucia and I think I’ll learn a lot from him during my time with Thunder.
“I grew up in Australia and watched a lot of Aussie cricket and to have the opportunity to play in the Big Bash is something I’m really looking forward to. The Big Bash is a fantastic spectacle, the atmosphere is amazing and skill levels are incredible.”
McClenaghan joins a bowling group that includes quicks Pat Cummins, Clint McKay and Gurinder Sandhu as well as the legspinner Fawad Ahmed. Michael Hussey, the Thunder’s director of cricket, said signing another frontline bowler had been “top priority” ahead of the 2017-18 season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Mitch in action for Thunder, he’s a bowler with experience playing in high pressured games at both domestic and international level,” Hussey said. “We’ve been monitoring his situation with New Zealand Cricket and are pleased to be able to bring him to the Big Bash for the summer.”