Willey opts out of BBL's Sydney Thunder

The Big Bash League has lost one of its platinum-level players with England World Cup winner David Willey pulling out of the Sydney Thunder's campaign.

Willey informed the Thunder he'd opted against taking part in this summer's competition for confidential reasons, leaving the club short on bowling depth.

A star at Perth in recent seasons, Willey went in as pick No.7 in the first round of this year's draft and was the Thunder's first selection.

However they will now canvas the players who went unselected in the draft to search for a replacement.

"Sydney Thunder regrets David won't be playing for us this season, but we wish him and his family all the very best for the future," Thunder boss Andrew Gilchrist said.

"We've started the process (of looking for a replacement), but Sydney Thunder boasts some incredible players on this summer's roster.

"Alex Hales has been a star for England's T20 World Cup campaign and Rilee Rossouw proved while playing for South Africa how dangerous he can be."

Willey's exit comes as a blow to the Thunder, who shape as having one of the league's most dangerous rosters this summer.

David Warner will also join them for the second half of the competition and could captain the team for some period if his leadership ban is lifted.

Faf Du Plessis, Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo were among the big names not picked up in the draft.

Englishman Tom Curran would be another possible option while his brother and player of the tournament from the World Cup Sam did not nominate for the draft.