Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Twitter)
Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sydney Thunder on Thursday has named left-handed opener Usman Khawaja as their captain for the upcoming BBL 2021-22 season. Khawaja has been with the Thunder from season one of the Big Bash League.

The three-format Australian international and captain of Queensland’s reigning Sheffield Shield winning team is the club’s highest ever run-scorer and longest-serving player. He will take over captaincy duties from Callum Ferguson and being their longest-serving player, the club decided to hand him over the charge for their new season.

Usman Khawaja To Captain Sydney Thunder In Upcoming BBL 2021-22
Callum Ferguson[photo: Twitter]

Great Privilege To Be Captain Of Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja

The Pakistan-born opener was excited to be named captain of the Sydney Thunder franchise with whom he shares a special bond. He has been with the club since the inception of BBL and said that it is a privilege to be captain of any team, but to lead Sydney Thunder means a little more for him.

“It’s a great privilege to be captain of any team, but for me especially being captain of Sydney Thunder probably means a little more. I grew up in Western Sydney, about ten minutes from where the Thunder play at Sydney Showground Stadium, and even though I now live in Queensland I have never forgotten where I come from.

Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 28: Usman Khawaja of the Thunder walks from the field after being dismissed by Sean Abbott of the Sixers during the Big Bash League match between the Sydney Sixers and the Sydney Thunder at the Sydney Cricket Ground on December 28, 2019, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Usman Khawaja (Image Credit: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images))

The majority of my close friends are from Western Sydney and I have that strong emotional connection with the club and the region. It’s very close to my heart,” said Khwaja as quoted by Sydney Thunder’s official website.

Callum Ferguson was awesome as a bloke and teammate – he will be missed by all: Usman Khawaja

The left-hander also paid tribute to the departing Thunder captain Callum Ferguson and said he wouldn’t be doing things a whole lot different to his predecessor. Khawaja also mentioned that Ferguson was an amazing teammate and an awesome person and will be missed by all the members of the franchise.

Callum Ferguson for Sydney Thunder. Photo- Sydney Thunder Twitter
Callum Ferguson for Sydney Thunder. Photo- Sydney Thunder Twitter

“Cal was awesome as a bloke and teammate – he will be missed amongst the group here for sure. I never change who I am just because I am the captain. I am usually a bit of a jokester around the team and that doesn’t change as a captain. I know when to deliver a message that is serious and when we can be a little more relaxed. For me it’s business as usual,” Khawaja concluded.

Sydney Thunder players contracted for BBL 11: Usman Khawaja (C), Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain.

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