Thunder sweating as Russell awaits fate
Sydney Thunder have been left sweating on the availability of Andre Russell for this season's Big Bash campaign, as the explosive West Indies all-rounder awaits his fate from Jamaica's Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel.
The Thunder training camp bowls off on Saturday but there is no indication yet whether Russell will be able to suit up or if he will be slapped with a two-year ban for committing an anti-doping whereabouts violation.
He missed three drugs tests in a 12-month period after failing to inform authorities about his whereabouts.
The hearing to determine Russell's fate concluded recently and Thunder chief executive, Nick Cummins, said they were hopeful of a positive outcome.
"Two of the alleged filing failures were while he was playing for West Indies at the World Cup so he was hardly hiding in a cupboard," Cummins contended.
"Certainly from what we've followed we think there's enough evidence to exonerate him but it's not my decision obviously and we'll just have to see how it goes."
Cummins said the fact Russell appeared in person before the Anti-Doping had been a good sign.
"He attended the hearing in person. So he's taking it very seriously and wanted to make sure that was noted."
Cummins said while they preferred to have Russell again this season, they had been understandably forced into contingency planning.
"We know what Andre can deliver, and he's a well-loved member of the team, so we would much prefer he keeps playing with us."