Sydney Thunder have lived under the shadow of their far more illustrious city rivals Sydney Sixers, winning just one title so far compared to the Sixers’ three. But they can cut that deficit in half with a title this year. That’s easier said than done though.
They were knocked out in the knockout game last year, which was a slight improvement on their showing the year prior.
To take that next leap, they’ve had a bit of an overhaul over the summer, with both coaching and captaincy changes. Shane Bond and Callum Ferguson are gone and have been replaced by Trevor Bayliss and Usman Khawaja. Several decent names such as Saqib Mahmood and Sam Billings have been added.
Khawaja will be unavailable for the opener and a few more games after that as he is with the national team preparing for the Ashes. Chris Green is to lead the side in his absence.
Brisbane Heat are one of four teams that are living off of a solitary Big Bash title. Theirs came in just the second season of the league way back in 2012-13. Since then, they’ve not even made a final.
They did show some improvement last year, reaching the challenger game after three years of utter mediocrity. They took out Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder in the playoffs before falling to Perth Scorchers, with a place in the final just around the corner.
The team is under new leadership this season as Chris Lynn has been replaced by Jimmy Peirson.
One injury blow for the Heat is that they will be without star batter Oliver Davies due to an ill-timed broken finger.