HomeCricketBBLUsman Khawaja Leaves Sydney Thunder With a Year Left Citing Family Reasons

Usman Khawaja Leaves Sydney Thunder With a Year Left Citing Family Reasons

Usman Khawaja Leaves Sydney Thunder: Usman Khawaja decided to opt out of the final year of his deal with Sydney Thunder owing to family reasons. Ahead of the 2019 season, Khawaja extended his deal with Sydney Thunder to run for the next four years.

Usman Khawaja who played against Melbourne Stars alongside David Warner and Chris Gayle in Thunder’s inaugural BBL match in 2011, remains the club’s only foundation player.

Usman Khawaja Leaves Sydney Thunder

With Khawaja and his wife Rachel expecting their second child, the Brisbane-based 35-year-old – who was contracted to Thunder until the end of next summer – said he wanted to remain as close as possible to his family next summer.

The 35-year-old has been at the Thunder since the BBL’s inception in 2011 and has scored a club-high 1818 runs in 59 games.

“I hate talking about the decision I’ve made… it’s the toughest call I’ve made as a cricketer because Sydney Thunder, the players, the coaching and support staff, and the club’s supporters mean so much to me,” Khawaja said in a statement.

“However, it is for family reasons, and while I’m leaving, people who know me realise a big part of my heart will always remain with Thunder. I don’t want people to think I’ve cut my ties with Sydney Thunder because I’ll always care about the club, the players, the entire organisation.”

“A part of that is because I believe I helped shape Thunder from the start. In many ways Sydney Thunder is, to me, like a baby I’ve watched grow and develop,” he added.


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The Thunder had tabled a multi-year deal to Khawaja but Michael Klinger, Cricket NSW’s Head of Male Cricket, said he understood the left-hander’s decision.

“It’s disappointing because Usman is such a well-respected member of Thunder,” said Klinger. “Sydney Thunder and CNSW definitely wanted him to stay, and we offered a highly competitive contract. However, we appreciate Usman’s decision has been made for his family, and we respect and support that.

“Usman leaves Sydney Thunder with our best wishes for the future. He’s a foundation player who leaves a legacy as a great competitor and player, a strong leader, and someone who actively helped Thunder become the club he always believed it could be,” Klinger added.

Big Bash clubs are currently restricted under the competition’s embargo period, which prevents new deals from being signed.

Also read: BBL Winners List All-Season, Player of the Match, Series – Included

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