Star England pair set for BBL: report

UK media reports Joe Root has signed on for first BBL campaign, days after being dropped from England side

Cricket Network

14 July 2018, 02:45 PM AEST

Star England duo Jos Buttler and Joe Root will reportedly head to Australia this summer to play for Sydney Thunder in the KFC Big Bash League.

The Evening Standard in the UK is reporting Test skipper Root has signed on for his first BBL stint and he'll be joined by Buttler, who has enjoyed a breakout 2018 so far both for England and in the Indian Premier League.

The Thunder have two international vacancies on their roster after Buttler and Kiwi quick Mitchell McLeneghan represented them last season, but are yet to confirm any overseas signings for BBL|08.

Buttler played five games for the Renegades in 2013-14 and was one of the Thunder's best last season, hitting two quickfire half-centuries in six games before being called up for international duty.

Brilliant Buttler slams four sixes in one over

A gap in England's international schedule this Australian summer means their leading players should be available for most of the BBL; England's tour to Sri Lanka ends in late November and a tour to the Caribbean isn't pencilled in to start in February next year, although the dates for that campaign are yet to be finalised.

Earlier this week, Root lamented the packed international schedule that has restricted him to just 11 Twenty20 games since the final of the 2016 World T20 in India.

His T20 game has suffered to the point where he was axed from the England side earlier this week for their clash against India in Bristol.

"Until there's a really good block for me to go and play T20 cricket somewhere in a domestic tournament, it's going to be hard to get a string of games to put that case (that he deserves a place in the T20 team) across," he said.

"I'm fully confident in the ability I have in that format.

Root top-scores with hard-fought fifty

"I can perform in T20 cricket. I don't see it as a closed door for me, but I have to make sure, in the limited opportunities I have, to keep performing.

"I fully understood the decision, that's part of having a really strong squad. You never like it as a player, but having been captain myself I know how hard it can be."

The Thunder, who unveiled former Kiwi quick Shane Bond as their coach in March, last month announced the re-signing of skipper Shane Watson as well as the recruitment of left-arm quick Daniel Sams from the Sixers.

They still have nine vacancies on their playing roster for this season.

Thunder squad: Fawad Ahmed, Pat Cummins, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Shane Watson

In: Daniel Sams (Sixers).

Out: Aiden Blizzard (retired).

Roster spots to fill: 9

Internationals signed: zero