Sydney Thunder optimistic for Big Bash

THERE'S plenty of optimism at Sydney Thunder ahead of this season's Big Bash with Usman Khawaja, Dirk Nannes and Gurinder Sandhu all committed to the "men in green" for 2014/15.

Picture: Robert Cianflone.

Picture: Robert Cianflone.

Superstar South African Jacques Kallis will join the side and Mike Hussey returns as skipper in what is a major boost for new coach Paddy Upton as he looks to create depth in the squad.

Usman Khawaja showed last season he was an outstanding opener in the shortest form of the game, averaging 54, with a strike rate of close to 120.

And he will provide an engine room in the top order, alongside Kallis and Hussey.

The evergreen Nannes was the second-highest wicket-taker for the Thunder last season with eight scalps and he will continue to nurture Sandhu, 21, who led the Thunder bowling statistics with 10 wickets and a miserly economy rate of 6.5 runs per over.

Thunder general manager Nick Cummins was delighted that all three players were back on deck to join top international star Kallis and Hussey.

"Having Usman, Dirk and Gurinder back on board is great news for Thunder fans," Cummins said.

The Thunder's first home game is on Sunday, December 21 at ANZ Stadium.

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