Daniel Sams celebrates a wicket with the Sydney Thunder, (Photo: Sydney Thunder)

The Head of the Sydney Thunder, Andrew Gilchrist has expressed his happiness upon the announcement of the inaugural Big Bash draft for the upcoming season.

In an exclusive interview with The Inner Sanctum, the Head of the Sydney Thunder, Andrew Gilchrist expressed his happiness upon the announcement of the inaugural Big Bash draft for the upcoming season.

The Big Bash has followed in the footsteps of other major T20 competitions around the world, by allowing all international players to declare for a draft – in an attempt to lure some of the biggest cricket stars.

Cricket Australia confirmed that teams with international players for the upcoming season will be able to retain one player from the draft.

Gilchrist credited the strong relationship between the clubs and Cricket Australia in helping the formation of the draft.

“Our relationship with Cricket Australia and the other clubs is really good, we all work together to try and better the Big Bash, we all chip in and we don’t divulge secrets,” he said.

“It [a draft] has been in the works for a little bit and it is something that is going to be really good, if you look at all the other tournaments in the world, the Big Bash was one of the only ones that didn’t have a draft.

“As a league, the draft is something to be really excited about and Cricket Australia deserves a lot of credit for getting it up off the ground, it’s going to be a great addition to the summer of cricket.”

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Gilchrist confirmed that the clubs will get a chance to re-sign their current international players and is confident in the Thunder’s ability to attract some big names.

“There’s been a list of players that have played for the club in which we can use a priority pick. At the Thunder we’ve made really good use of international players in recent years, we’ve had people like Jacques Kallis and Andre Russell play for us,” he said.

“More recently we’ve had Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Saqib Mahmood, and we have seen how exciting Muhammad Hasnain was, we’ve seen the impact these players can have… ultimately as a club, we can use the pick on a player who will add really good value to the team.”

Gilchrist also noted that the club will continue to focus on developing homegrown talent as they look to give back to the Sydney community.

“The Sydney Thunder have had a good track record of developing homegrown talent, you just need to look at Tanveer and Jason Sangha, they’re two incredibly talented players and they represent the Thunder incredibly well,” he said.

“We want people who are going to engage with our fans and to put back into our community. We’re a very community-based club and we want players both internationally and domestically who are going to contribute to that.”

With an emphasis on bringing in the biggest international talent across the globe, the Head of the Thunder confirmed he would also like to see more Australian stars come back to the Big Bash.

“The timing of the Big Bash is great for TV and families, unfortunately with every international team playing cricket at the same time it does become difficult [to recruit international stars],” Gilchrist said.

“Hopefully with the draft, we’re recruiting the best international talent we can and we want the biggest names possible playing in the competition and that includes our Australian players as well.

“We’ve had Pat Cummins play for the Thunder and we’d love Pat to play again pending his international commitments. If it’s possible I’m sure every other team would love Australians to play alongside their international players.”

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Cricket Australia officially opened nominations for the draft to international stars and will begin to release some of the names in the coming weeks.

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