Reigning KFC T20 Big Bash League Champions, Sydney Thunder will cross the Tasman for the second year running as they visit Christchurch to face the Canterbury Kings at Hagley Oval on Friday 2 December.

The reigning KFC T20 Big Bash League Champions will use the trip to play a strong opposition and expose members of the Thunder Academy to high level competition.

Ryan Gibson, Nathan McAndrew and Chris Green all featured in squads for Thunder in BBL05 after putting in impressive performances last year in New Zealand.

Director of Cricket and former Thunder captain Michael Hussey, who took part in last year’s tour believed the trip was a crucial factor to the sides’ success last season.

“The tour is a huge opportunity for our younger players, to showcase themselves against a top quality opposition” said Director of Cricket Michael Hussey.

“It also provides an avenue for members of the squad who are not playing first class cricket to work on their T20 skills.”

“Hagley Oval is a great place to play cricket, there was a big crowd there last year and it all plays a part in preparing the team for the Big Bash.”

“We now have some very talented players in our Academy, and for the few youngsters selected, playing games like this should help bridge the gap between Grade cricket and the Big Bash.”

All-rounder Shane Watson made his debut for Thunder last season in New Zealand and is looking forward to getting back in the lime green after successful stints in the Indian Premier League and Caribbean Premier League.

“The trip to Christchurch provides great preparation” said Shane Watson.

“It’s a beautiful city, the facilities are excellent at Hagley Oval.”

“It’s brilliant for the young players to get exposure to quality opposition but also for me and Huss to get to know the emerging Thunder plays a bit better, so it works both ways.”

Last season saw Thunder sign Henry Nicholls as an overseas injury replacement player for two games, with General Manager Nick Cummins praising the relationship between the two clubs.

“We are delighted to return to Christchurch in the lead up to BBL06,” said Sydney Thunder General Manager Nick Cummins.

“Last year’s tour provided ideal preparation for a number of our players and we learned a lot about where our Academy players were in their development.”

“We’ve forged a very productive partnership with Canterbury which has had significant benefit for both parties.”

“They beat us last time, so we are keen to set the record straight this December!”

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