Sydney Thunder have confirmed the signing of Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting ahead of the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL).Thunder have traded in Cutting from the Brisbane Heat. His performances for Brisbane made him a crowd favourite as he became the Heat's highest wicket-taker with 63 scalps and its second-highest run-scorer with 1,199 runs at a strike-rate of 145.50.The former international, who represented Australia in both formats of limited-overs cricket, said while there were compelling reasons for him to join the Thunder, there was one he couldn't ignore. "I wasn't asked to leave; I had another year left so I had the option to stay on, if I wanted to. But it's been a tough couple of years, particularly the most recent season, so I just think it was time that we parted ways," the 33-year old told cricket.com.au.Cutting also hinted that there would be several other swaps from various franchises in the next couple of weeks.
"I know I'm not the only one in this boat and it's going to be a very interesting couple of weeks now the embargo period has lifted," he said. "I'm excited to join the Thunder because of the culture (they have). Having come up against them, I know what they're all about and that excites me. Good people always breed a good culture and a good culture is what brings you success," he further added. Speaking of Cutting's addition, Thunder Head coach Shane Bond said: "There aren't too many players in the Big Bash who can come in at six and strike the ball and score as fast as Ben can. We've got a really strong relationship and I think he'll fit in brilliantly at our club. He's going to fill a vital role for us
"With Cutting's exit, Chris Lynn now remains the only player of the Heat's foundation squad. Earlier, Heat's Matt Renshaw joined Adelaide Strikers and it's been reported that James Pattinson could join Melbourne Renegades for the forthcoming season. Incidentally, the Heat have added Tom Cooper and Jack Wildermuth [both former Renegades players] to their squad and are in talks with AB de Villiers about a possible return this season. After playing a few games at the Heat last season, de Villiers expressed his desire to reunite with the Heat for another season, but with quarantine protocols adding to the fact that "the South African's wife is due to give birth towards the end of the year" the return of AB seems unsure.