Billings in it for the BBL long haul at Sydney Thunder

Justin Chadwick |

English star Sam Billings has switched back to the Sydney Thunder on a three-year deal, promising to see out each Big Bash League season from beginning to end.

Billings became the first men’s player to sign for the BBL under the league’s new multi-year contract option for overseas stars.

Under the deal, players must commit to seeing out the full season, rather than leaving early or arriving late to link up with rival Twenty20 leagues.

The capture of Billings, who last featured for England in 2022, is a big boost for the Thunder, who managed only one win last season on the way to the wooden spoon.

“On the field we are pulling together a really good squad and the chance to work with such an accomplished coach as Trevor Bayliss again was very appealing,” Billings said in a statement.

“The BBL is in such a great place these days, it’s well run, well supported and definitely the best tournament in the world staged at that time of the year.

“That’s why I have committed long term and to be here right until the end of the tournament each year.

“At this stage of my career and life, where I play, the people I play with and the community I am part of is really important to my family and I.

“I know Sydney Thunder provides me with the best opportunity to enjoy my time and play some really good cricket.”

Billings first joined the Thunder in 2020 before switching to the Brisbane Heat after two seasons.

The 32-year-old has played three Tests, 28 one-day internationals and 37 T20Is for England.

The BBL announced their overseas draft order on Thursday evening, with the Melbourne Stars earning the coveted No.1 pick.

The Melbourne Renegades will have pick No.2, with the Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes rounding out the top four.

The Sixers were the biggest loser, finishing with pick No.8 in the first round.

The lottery determines the order of selections in rounds one, two and four of the draft, with round three conducted in reverse order.


*1 – Melbourne Stars

*2 – Melbourne Renegades

*3 – Sydney Thunder

*4 – Hobart Hurricanes

*5 – Adelaide Strikers

*6 – Brisbane Heat

*7 – Perth Scorchers

*8 – Sydney Sixers