Along with the Sydney Sixers, the Sydney Thunder are the successors of the New South Wales Blues who played in the now-defunct KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. The NSW Cricket board unanimously decided on lime green as the team’s colour, though other colours were considered, and rejected as being too close to other Sydney sports teams. Cricket Australia did not allow Cricket NSW to use the sky blue colour traditionally associated with New South Wales sports teams.
The team made their debut in the 2011-12 Big Bash League season – the inaugural season of the Big Bash League. The team performed poorly in its first years in the competition, finishing last in each of its first three seasons and second last in its fourth season.
From 2011 to 2014, the Thunder’s home ground was ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park. The team played their final two games of the 2014-15 Big Bash League season at Sydney Showground Stadium after they were unable to use ANZ Stadium due to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup association football tournament. In June 2015, the Thunder announced they would leave ANZ Stadium and play all home games at Sydney Showground Stadium until the 2024-25 BBL season.