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Ferguson eager to lead Thunder again after BBL|10 exit

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Thunder skipper Callum Ferguson keen to play on but will have to wait and see what the future holds

Skipper Callum Ferguson admits his future with the Sydney Thunder is uncertain after the club was knocked out of the KFC BBL title race by the ascendant Brisbane Heat.

The out-of-contract Ferguson has told Thunder management he is eager to return for BBL|11 after leading the club to finals in his two seasons as his skipper, while also being a strong contributor with the bat.

The Western Sydney side were a win away from making the BBL|09 Final last summer after only sneaking into fifth spot, while they were considered among the title favourites this season having been in the top-two for much of the tournament before eventually sliding down to third.

The Thunder appeared destined for victory on Sunday when they ran out key man Marnus Labuschagne with the Heat still needing 89 runs from eight overs.

But Ferguson said a light sprinkling of rain played in Brisbane’s favour, with the Thunder’s slower balls skidding on instead of holding in the Manuka Oval pitch, as Sam Heazlett and Jimmy Peirson knocked off the runs with five ball to spare.

“I’d love to don the green again, I’m certainly keen to go around again,” Ferguson told reporters. “Contracts wise, hopefully they want me again, I’m not too sure at this point.

“But I’ll ask and be keen and I have let them know I am keen to go around again.”

Ferguson called time on his Sheffield Shield career in November but expects to play for South Australia in the Marsh One-Day Cup campaign in the coming months.

Sunday’s defeat was a sour end to an otherwise promising campaign for the Thunder.

Under coach Shane Bond, the club prospered from strong depth, a settled line-up and arguably the most consistent group of international recruits of any side in BBL|10.

English opener Alex Hales remains 44 runs adrift atop the leading run-scoring charts, countryman Sam Billings played some key hands while New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne proved a shrewd pick-up, going at just 7.56 per over despite taking just five wickets.

But the Thunder will be most buoyed by the season of Tanveer Sangha, who had not played any senior domestic cricket at the start of BBL|10 but finished it as the Thunder’s leading wicket taker with 21 scalps at 18.28.

The 19-year-old’s breakout campaign has won him selection in Australia’s 18-man squad for their T20 tour of New Zealand, and Ferguson believes he is ready to make an immediate impact at international level.

“I’d love to see him get a taste sooner rather than later, he learns really quickly in my experience,” said Ferguson, who played 33 limited-overs games for Australia as well as a solitary Test.

“He’s been a pleasure to captain – whenever we’ve thrown him a challenge, whether it’s bringing an extra fielder into the ring or trying a new plan that he mightn’t have tried before in his career, he’s taken to it like a duck to water.

“They’re certainly attributes you need to succeed at the international level in my experience and from what I’ve seen from the best in the world.

“There will be some good cricket brains around him out on the park, I’m looking forward to seeing him strut his stuff, because he’s got a bit of swagger about him.”

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