Sydney Sixers add Jeevan Mendis to Big Bash arsenal

The Sydney Sixers have made a last minute signing coup just days out from their Big Bash League opener against the Sydney Thunder with Sri Lankan all-rounder Jeevan Mendis to link with the team.

The 29-year-old Twenty20 and 50-over Sri Lankan international will only join the Sixers later this week ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster Sydney derby at the SCG, filling the void left by the loss of Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal.

“Jeevan has done really well over the last 18 months in the short forms of the game for Sri Lanka,” Sixers coach Trevor Bayliss said. “He debuted when I was over there as coach but has really cemented his position recently as a batting all rounder.

He is great running between the wickets, bowls a little leg spin and is a solid fielder. He will be a great addition to our team.”

However, it is unlikely Mendis will be able to play in the finals of the Big Bash for the Sixers. He is expected to be unavailable through Sri Lanka’s five-match ODI series against Australia beginning on January 11 with the Big Bash semi-finals beginning January 15.

He could also miss the Sixers final regular season match against the Melbourne Renegades on January 9.

Saturday’s Sydney showdown is expected to be a sell-out at the reduced capacity SCG even though Thunder megastar Chris Gayle will not be available to play for the western Sydney franchise until the team’s second match against the Renegades on December 14 at ANZ Stadium.

The Sixers play their second match of the Big Bash on December 16 against the Perth Scorchers at the SCG. (Herald Sun)