Thunder captain Callum Ferguson says the “silver lining” of being unable to play any BBL matches in Sydney this season is the chance to play more at the Adelaide Oval.
Border closures and travel restriction have led to Sydney’s two teams – the Thunder and the Sixers – losing seven home games.
They include two derbies, the first of which is being played on Wednesday night at Manuka Oval.
The other derby, to be played on Friday week, will take place at Adelaide Oval.
It’s one of four extra matches to be played at the home of South Australian cricket – three of which involve the Thunder – under the latest revamped schedule released on Monday night.
“The guys were really keen to get to Sydney, to see family and perhaps pets and children, but unfortunately that’s not the case but … we’ve got the opportunity to play which is really important,” said Ferguson, a proud South Australian and Redbacks Sheffield Shield great who will enjoy spending more time at home in Adelaide/
“It’s a little silver lining for me personally. Most of the guys quite like Adelaide, and there’s going to be some freedoms that some of the other cities perhaps don’t quite allow, but we’ll wait and see once we hit the ground because things can change really quickly.
“It’s a great stadium Adelaide Oval and one that we’ve played well at over the last couple of years. We look forward to getting down there.”
Back at it in Canberra 💪#ThunderNation #BBL10 pic.twitter.com/O83t3JrF9g
But first the Thunder must focus on knocking the Sixers off the top of the table by beating their arch-rivals on Wednesday night.
“It’s always been a huge challenge for both sides and it means so much to both teams, so the competitiveness out on the park is noticeable, the lift it intensity is noticeable,” Ferguson said.
“Every time we go out there against the Sixers it’s usually two sides that are in pretty good form going head to head looking at a finals run towards the back end of the tournament.
“We’re going head-to-head a couple of times going down the stretch so it’d nice to get the first one under the belt and sit them back a little bit.”
Sixers skipper Daniel Hughes said he thrived on the rivalry between the teams.
“Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers have always been a great contest,” Hughes said.
“Unfortunately we won’t get that game at the SCG for the derby, but … it always seems to go down to the wire.
“The Thunder are playing fantastic cricket this year. It’ll be a great challenge for the group.
“We’re playing for a spot on top of the ladder so you don’t need any more motivation than that, especially against the Thunder.”
Shifted BBL matches:
Wednesday: Heat v Renegades, from Marvel Stadium to Manuka Oval.
January 21: Strikers v Heat, from MCG to Adelaide Oval.
January 22: Sixers v Thunder, from SCG to Adelaide Oval
January 24: Thunder v Strikers, from Sydney Showgrounds to Adelaide Oval; Sixers v Hurricanes, from SCG to MCG
January 25: Strikers v Thunder, from Sydney Showgrounds to Adelaide Oval.
January 26: Heat v Perth Scorchers, from SCG to TBC.
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