The battle of the Harbor kicks off again for a new Big Bash season.
Where: The SCG
When: 08.15 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
Usman Khawaja admits the Sydney Thunder felt like Sydney’s second-string team even before they collected consecutive T20 Big Bash League wooden spoons.
The Thunder have been winless since claiming victories in their opening two matches of the inaugural Big Bash season in 2011-12.
But Khawaja revealed on Wednesday that the little brother syndrome, in which they felt inferior to cross-town rivals the Sydney Sixers, was forged before a match was played in 2011.
“Very much the last two years felt like the second-string Sydney side – even from the start,” Khawaja said.
“And that goes all the way up to the administration.
“…It’s just nice to have a fresh look.”
Everything has changed at Thunderland – starting at the top and flowing throughout the rest of the organisation.
Nick Cummins was installed as the franchise’s chief executive and played a part in transforming their entire operation.
Khawaja, the Thunder’s top runscorer last season, and veteran paceman Dirk Nannes, their top wicket-taker, are two of the few constants for the western Sydney team.
Everything else, from the coaching staff and training facilities to the front office and even gameday transport has been revamped.
Khawaja is delighted at the change and believes it has the team primed to stamp themselves as Sydney’s dominant team this summer – starting with Saturday’s season-opener
against the Sixers.
The 26-year-old, who has played nine Tests and three one-day matches for Australia, remains on the fringe of international selection.
He views the Big Bash as an opportunity to continue his impressive domestic one-day and Sheffield Shield form to stay on the selectors’ radar.
“If you’re scoring runs, or if you’re a bowler taking wickets, no matter what form of the game you’re playing I think it counts,” he said.
“Funny things can happen in cricket. One week in cricket is a long time.”