An injury to former Fairfield Liverpool captain Gurinder Sandhu has opened the door for Lions quick Liam Hatcher to make his Sydney Thunder debut.
The former Thunder development rookie was named in the squad for the opening Big Bash League game against the Brisbane Heat.
Hatcher, who made his one-day and Sheffield Shield debut for NSW this season, was signed as an injury replacement player for Sandhu who has been sidelined by a calf muscle strain in his left leg which while training with Tasmania.
Thunder's physiotherapist Murray Ryan said Sandhu's rehabilitation over the next week would determine his availability.
Hatcher, 23, forced his way into the Blues set-up after a string of strong Second XI performances for NSW Metro.
He impressed on Sheffield Shield debut taking 3-40 and 2-50 for NSW in their win against Queensland recently.
Hatcher dismissed opener Bryce Street who top-scored for the Bulls with a dogged 58 off 200 balls. His first scalp was former Australian opener Matthew Renshaw for 36. He picked up Renshaw again in the second innings when the left-hander misjudged a ball from around the wicket and hitting his off stump.
Sydney Thunder coach Shane Bond said he was "very excited" about the season.
"It's always nice to be in a position where it doesn't matter who - out of the 18 in the squad - you put on the field, you feel as though you're capable of winning games," he said.
"We have a fantastic squad. Our goal is to win the tournament, and we think we have the squad capable of doing it."
The Thunder defeated the Sydney Sixers in their two pre-season trials - including the second game which went down to the last ball of the match at the SCG on Saturday night. Another Lion Arjun Nair took three wickets and hit 42 not out.
"The great thing is the boys take a lot of confidence from knowing a lot of the stuff we're working on has been done well [on the field] and we just need to keep working on that," Bond said.
The Sydney Thunder play their first home game of the season against the Adelaide Strikers at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Saturday, December 21.