Fresh off a season-high 72 for Fairfield Liverpool, Param Uppal will now get a chance to play for the team he supported as a kid in this year’s Big Bash League.
The 18-year-old has been elevated from the Sydney Thunder Academy to be the club’s development rookie for the season.
It continues his stellar 2017 which has seen him co-captain the under-19s Australian team, claim his first NSW contract and be selected in the Cricket Australia XI to play in the JLT One-Day Cup.
“It’s really exciting for me to be around the squad with players like Watto [Shane Watson] and Usman [Khawaja], it’ll be a great opportunity for me to learn from the best,” Uppal said
“Being from western Sydney, everyone supports the Thunder. I’ve grown up as a Thunder fan, so for me to now have a chance to mix with the senior squad will be really cool.”
Uppal caught the eyes of selectors when he won consecutive man of the match awards in an under-19s series against Sri Lanka in April.
He has taken that form into the NSW Premier Cricket season scoring 208 runs at an average of 52. He has also taken seven wickets with his off-spin.
He joins fellow Lions Ben Rohrer and Gurinder Sandhu in the Thunder squad.
Sydney Thunder Director of Cricket Michael Hussey said Uppal is an “exciting prospect” for the future.
“We see him as a long term prospect and a future star for many years to come. We’re really keen to invest in him and help him develop his game,” Hussey said.
He also offers some handy off-spin and he has some good leadership qualities that we are really interested in developing further.”
Uppal, who has been selected in Australia’s preliminary squad for the 2018 under-19 World Cup, will be joined by Australian under-19 co-captain Jason Sangha in the Thunder senior Thunder squad.
Sangha has been awarded a Thunder Foundation scholarship.