Big Bash League 2022-23: Massive blow for Sydney Thunder as platinum signing David Willey pulls out

David Willey was Sydney Thunder's platinum pick ahead of the 2022-23 season.

David Willey England
David Willey. (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

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Big Bash League franchise, Sydney Thunder have confirmed David Willey’s withdrawal from the forthcoming edition of the top-tier league. The bowling all-rounder was signed by Thunder as their ‘platinum pick’ ahead of the new season.

Willey was a part of England’s T20 World Cup winning squad which recently concluded down under as the side beat Pakistan to clinch the title. However, the player did not participate in any of the fixtures during the Three Lions’ entire campaign. Sydney Thunder management and Willey came to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract ahead of the season.

"David and his management have been tremendous to deal with. Sydney Thunder regrets David won't be playing for us this season, but we wish him and his family all the very best for the future,” said Andrew Gilchrist, the head of Sydney Thunder.

David Willey pulls out of BBL

It is understood that the left-arm pacer was to be initially available for the entire BBL 2022-23 season for the franchise. However, now the player's exclusion from the side will prove to be a major blow.

Willey previously donned the Perth Scorchers' outfit for four seasons from BBL|05 to BBL|08, as he notched up 26 wickets in his 27 outings with the franchise. Sydney Thunder will now be able to rope in a replacement overseas player from the list of players who were nominated for the draft. However, Cricket Australia could also include other names if they are deemed valuable to the competition.

The Englishman became the second platinum pick to withdraw from the forthcoming edition as his compatriot, Liam Livingstone too pulled out of the tournament after he received a surprise call-up to the Test squad for England's upcoming tour of Pakistan.

However, Livingstone will join the Melbourne Renegades squad from their fifth match onwards after concluding the tour of Pakistan. Renegades announced Andre Russell as Livingstone's replacement for their opening four fixtures of the season.