The Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers prepare to meet at the SCG for the last match of the BBL regular season | 11 will take place in Sydney.
An unprecedented chapter is about to unfold in the Big Bash’s greatest rivalry – once the Sydney Thunder captain is released from prison.
Chris Green is one of the many players who fell victim to the Covid-19 outbreak that tore BBL | 11.
Green has been hiding out in a small hotel room in Melbourne for a week since his close connection was confirmed, and he had little to do but stay active, watch Thunder on TV and think of his release.
He told News Corp.
“(Team Thunder teammate) Ben Cutting dropped me a soft cricket ball, so I was tossing it in the mattress against the wall, just to try to stay energetic and sane.”
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Since the pandemic began, Green has spent an astounding 57 days in isolation – longer than the BBL season | The entire 11.
But none of that matters to Green to come on Saturday night.
Like fly-in-fly-out workers, the Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers will leave Melbourne’s Big Bash Center for one final regular-season game in Harbor City.
Another time at the Sydney Smash on Boxing Day, the defending champion, the Sydney Sixers, looked locked in a two-horse race for BBL glory and had little trouble shaking off the Thunder.
But as if scorched by defeating the competition, the Thunder picked up form in the following weeks and usurped the Sixers for second on the ladder.
Now, with a shot at Redemption on the line, Thunder welcomes its captain back.
“It’s probably going to be my first game in a while, so there’s a lot to look forward to from my end,” Green said.
“I think it will be a really exciting match.
“We come to Sydney Smash full of confidence, knowing at the same time that there’s a bigger target on our backs too.”
And the sexes are hungry for some on-target training.
The team that won 13 out of 20 smashes appears to have bounced back from a worrisome streak of injuries and relegated to the mini-level just in time for the rivalry match.
With all their homegrown players preventing an injured Ben Manenti from returning to their deck, the Sixers demolished the Melbourne Renegades on their last stroke and look to rediscover their magic.
“This was a very important result for us,” said Captain Moises Enrix.
“Obviously when you win and you get a job done, it gives you a little bit of positivity that I think the team really needs, just to get us back on the right track.”
Henriques said the strong form of Thunder was no shock and that he was expecting a good game Saturday night.
After winning (the last Sydney crush), I actually thought, ‘Jeez, they’ve got a really strong roster already; “They have a great team,” he said.
“I would be amazed if their form doesn’t continue to move into the back half of the season.”
Covid-19 disruptions have forced most of the BBL games out of Sydney, so both sides are inviting fans to take part in the game now that they are back in the city.
“Just being able to see all the Sydney players come out and hopefully have a good game of cricket would be great,” Henriques said.
“Boys totally appreciate it when that happens.”
“It’s a very family friendly atmosphere,” Green added.
“Regardless of the results, there is always a lot of fun on the field and apparently off the field in the stands as well.
“I can not wait.”
Originally Posted as BBL: Thunder and Sixers Ready for a Sydney Smash Like No Other