Renegades ready for Geelong double
THE Melbourne Renegades will play both of their games at GMHBA Stadium in less than two months and the Big Bash side is getting excited to head down the Princes Highway.
The club’s first contest in Geelong against the Brisbane Heat set for January 6 is fast approaching and excitement is building from the players through to the coaching staff.
Melbourne will also host the Sydney Sixers at Kardinia Park five days later on January 11.
“There has been a decent and long-standing relationship between Geelong and the Renegades, which has been great,” head coach David Saker said.
“During my first year coaching in 2015, we played some warm-up games down there in Geelong against the Stars and there was a great showing. Having an affiliation with another place other than Marvel (Stadium), I think, is fantastic.
“If we can get some really good support from the Geelong public it would be great, and hopefully we can put on some good performances.”
The KFC Big Bash League has held games in many regional areas of the country including Alice Springs, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and Launceston, which the Renegades coach believes is tremendous for the rapidly growing style of cricket.
“The Big Bash has right from the start captured a different audience, definitely the younger fans,” Saker said.
“When we take the game to regional areas, it’s exciting; I think it’s a great thing to let the regional residents view the game up close.
“Sometimes we forget how many regional-born players go on to represent Australia. We should probably take the game out to regional areas more than we actually do and with Geelong being a major sporting area, it’ll be fantastic to play in front of the crowds there.”
Leading the charge for the Renegades will be Colac-born star batsman Aaron Finch, who is preparing for the T20 World Cup against Pakistan early Friday morning.
Saker said Finch has been a driving force in getting Big Bash cricket out to Geelong and is convinced he will put on a good showing in front of his hometown fans.
“It’s great for him to play in front of the people who have grown up watching him, he’s been a star of the Australian team for so long.
“It’s great to see him back into some good form at the moment, so hopefully as the captain of Australia he can lift the World Cup in the next few weeks, which would be awesome and then we get him, which would be even better.”
Saker admitted that Finch “didn’t have one his better years last season” but noted his star player did not generally have two bad years in a row.
To purchase tickets to the Renegades’ games at GMHBA Stadium this season head to https://www.ticketmaster.com.au/melbourne-renegades/artist/1620613.