Buttler and Root could join the Thunder for Big Bash

Australia

England stalwarts Jos Buttler and Joe Root are reportedly set for a spell in the Big Bash League in 2018/19 with the Sydney Thunder.

An unconfirmed report in the Evening Standard claims that the Thunder have completed a double swoop for the Test skipper Root and potent wicketkeeper batsman Buttler.

The Thunder are yet to fill their two overseas players slots but last season Buttler made his BBL debut while the second slot was occupied by Kiwi Mitchell McLeneghan.

If Buttler is confirmed it will be his third BBL campaign after he debuted with the Melbourne Renegades in 2013 before signing for the Thunder in 2017.

England have a conveniently located gap in their international season around the time of the BBL.

The Three Lions round up their tour of Sri Lanka in November and their next assignment is an as yet unconfirmed series in the Caribbean penciled in for February.

Root shared his desire to work more T20 cricket into his schedule after coming in for some criticism over his form in the T20Is against India.

He said: “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.

“I’m fully confident in the ability I have in that format.

“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 still have nine slots to fill in their squad including two overseas professionals but have announced the appointment of Shane Bond as coach and the retention of Shane Watson as skipper.