Sydney Thunder have bolstered their bowling stocks with the addition of New Zealand quick Mitchell McClenaghan, the club announced today.
McClenaghan has played 76 limited-overs internationals for the Black Caps but requested to be released from his New Zealand central contact in August, which was granted by the governing body, to play in the world’s Twenty20 tournaments.
Having represented eight T20 franchises, in addition to New Zealand, the 31-year-old is a veteran of 124 T20 matches and brings vital experience to a Thunder outfit that finished last in 2016-17.
The left-armer claimed 19 wickets in Mumbai Indian’s triumphant 2017 Indian Premier League campaign, the fourth most in the tournament in his third year with the glamour club.
Following his stint in the subcontinent, McClenaghan spent August in the Caribbean playing in the CPL, where his side, St Lucia Stars, failed to win a match from 10 attempts.
He will arrive in Australia for BBL|07 fresh from playing in the new T20 Global League in South Africa, where he will represent Durban Qalanders in the eight-team tournament alongside former Thunder captain Eoin Morgan and under current Thunder head coach Paddy Upton.
The new tournament is scheduled to conclude on December 17, just two days before the opening match of the KFC Big Bash League season between the Thunder and cross-town rivals Sydney Sixers.
"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," said McClenaghan.
"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 seasoned bowling unit at Spotless Stadium, linking up with Australia star Pat Cummins, Clint McKay, Gurinder Sandhu, Fawad Ahmed and allrounder Shane Watson.
"The club identified the need for a frontline bowler as a top priority for the season," said Director of Cricket Michael Hussey.
"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.
"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."
Current Squad: Aiden Blizzard, Pat Cummins, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Clint McKay, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Shane Watson, Mitchell McClenaghan (OS)