Root , Buttler could headline blockbuster Big Bash
JOE Root and Jos Buttler could be about to give Sydney Thunder the biggest double-barrel international injection in Big Bash League history.
As the BBL unveiled a bumper new schedule highlighted by a blockbuster Christmas Eve Sydney derby, reports out of the UK say England's two biggest superstars have been locked in by the Thunder in what shapes as a stunning coup.
Root is one of the top three batsmen in the game across all formats and right now Buttler is arguably the No. 1 short-form exponent in world cricket.
Their reported arrival would rocket the western Sydney franchise into premiership reckoning after a couple of lean years.
Buttler has made two blazing matchwinning centuries for England against Australia this year from near impossible situations to mark him as one of the game's best wicketkeeper-batsmen since Adam Gilchrist.
Their combination helped destroy Australia 5-0 in the recent one-day series and together Buttler and Root would rival Brisbane's Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum as the most feared dynamic duo in the game.
Thunder wicketkeeper Jay Lenton said the prospect of Root and Buttler would add enormous weight to an extended BBL season to be broadcast wall-to-wall from December through to February on Fox Cricket with 16 exclusive matches.
"Look if that's true it would be fantastic to be honest. You look at what Jos has done in the recent IPL and what he's done over in England - it's just phenomenal," said Lenton of the reports out of the UK.
"Some of the things he's doing, whether he's batting at the top or at six or seven … I'd say he's the best white ball player at the moment.
"Then to get the England Test captain in Joe Root come over, the wealth and knowledge it would bring and the advancement he would bring to the game as well, teaching the young guys - if that was true it would be absolutely fantastic for the Thunder."
Buttler made a huge impact for the Thunder when he played a stint last summer, and England's international schedule suggests he and Root could feature in Sydney for at least half the season if their signings are confirmed.
Fox Sports announced leading presenter Jess Yates will join their star-studded Big Bash League commentary team after helping launch the concept when Fox last held the rights in the fledgling years of the competition.
Yates said new innovations were on their way and on days where Test matches and the BBL doubles up fans could park themselves on the couch for 13 hours a day.
"To have it all in one place on Fox Cricket is such an exciting prospect for our audience and fans over the summer," she said.
"They'll be able to park themselves in their lounge rooms with their families and enjoy ad-break free coverage which we've never seen before."
For the first time ever the BBL will be a full home and away season with the final now locked in for February 17.
Most days of Test cricket for the summer will conclude by heading straight to a live BBL match straight after for the evening.
During the Australia Day day-night Test, the baggy green and BBL action will overlap for the first time ever.
Sydney Sixers star Daniel Hughes says the market will embrace more cricket.
"How good is it to sit down and watch a day of Test cricket and then hang around and switch it onto the Big Bash at night," Hughes said.
"There's no such thing as too much cricket.
"That's just going to be awesome for the fans that can't get to the game to sit at home and just have cricket on TV all day. I don't think it matters how long it goes (into February), the fans will still watch it."
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