Captain Ferguson dumped by Sydney Thunder
A 'shocked and angry' Callum Ferguson reveals he is seeking a new home for BBL|11 after the Sydney Thunder told him they would not renew ties after this season
6 February 2021, 09:17 PM AEST
The Sydney Thunder have unceremoniously dumped club captain Callum Ferguson in a shock move after bowing out of the KFC BBL|10 finals.
The 36-year-old Ferguson was the Thunder's second-leading run-scorer in BBL|10 - behind only England import Alex Hales - having piled up 405 runs at 31.15 at a strike rate of 123.85, all while leading the Thunder to third on the BBL|10 ladder with eight wins from their 14 games in the regular season.
Ferguson revealed on his social media accounts the Thunder were moving on without him.
"Unfortunately I was notified yesterday that I will not be offered a contract with (the Thunder) for next season," Ferguson wrote.
While Ferguson thanked the Thunder for his time at the club, he later revealed he was initially "pretty angry" at how he felt the club went about shuffling him out the door, having first joined ahead of BBL|07 on a three-year contract.
"I think the initial reaction was just shock," Ferguson said on ABC Grandstand today.
"It's a long day once you hear the news. It was late morning … once I got the news it certainly is a range of emotions.
"I was pretty angry and ticked off when I first got the news."
Having sought meetings with the Thunder to talk about his playing future, Ferguson said his management team had been given the cold shoulder by the club's management who dithered on contract negotiations throughout the summer.
"We (Ferguson and his manager) had gone to the Thunder and we were looking to re-sign. They wanted to hold on it. I started the season really well and we went back to them again and they wanted to hold again," Ferguson said.
"I missed out a few times in the middle of the season and then finished really well so we went back to them again. They were non-committal which is a bit of an understatement.
"My manager literally couldn't get a return phone call from the Thunder for a week and a half. No response to text messages and emails which was frustrating, but anyway that's the way that went.
"We finally heard from them yesterday. It is disappointment and shock, then it got to anger at different stages through the day. In the end, I think I got to the point where I was like, you know what, one door closes and another one opens."
Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond in a statement described the decision to not offer Ferguson a contract as "tough".
"In the two years Callum was Sydney Thunder's captain I found him fantastic to work with," said Bond. "What viewers see on the television is what you get with him: he's affable, articulate, calm, and extremely popular.
"The calming influence he's had over the squad during the last couple of years has been very important.
"Above all, Callum is a great team man. In the two-years we've worked side-by-side we've shared some great moments, including our qualifying for the last two playoffs under his captaincy."
Ferguson said he was keen to find a new home in the BBL and would surely make an attractive proposition for several clubs seeking his class, experience and leadership in the middle order.
"It could be a little adventure that could be exciting. Certainly, I'm looking forward and not back now," Ferguson said.
Ferguson led the Thunder into the BBL Finals in his two seasons as skipper since taking over from Shane Watson after his Big Bash retirement, while also being a strong contributor with the bat.
They were a win away from making the BBL|09 Final last summer after only sneaking into fifth spot, and were among the title favourites this season having been in the top two for much of the tournament, before finishing third behind the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.
He'd publicly expressed his desire to "don the green again" last weekend after their season ended in the Knock-Out Final against the Brisbane Heat, and while he called time on his first-class career in November, expects to play for South Australia in the Marsh One-Day Cup campaign in the coming months.
Beyond that, the 36-year-old is eyeing a career as a short-form freelancer.
"If COVID allows us to, I'll try to travel and play some T20 cricket around the world," Ferguson said last week. "I'm keen to play some white-ball cricket for a few years yet.
"While I feel like I'm contributing and playing good cricket and enjoying it – which I am with this (Thunder) group – I'll certainly try to keep playing."
BBL|10 Finals Series (all matches will screen on Channel 7, Fox Cricket & Kayo)
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat (4) beat Adelaide Strikers (5) by six wickets
The Qualifier: Sydney Sixers (1) beat Perth Scorchers (2) by nine wickets
The Knock-Out: Brisbane Heat (4) beat Sydney Thunder (3) by seven wickets
The Challenger: Perth Scorchers (2) beat Brisbane Heat (4) by 49 runs (DLS)