BIG Bash Twenty20 team Melbourne Renegades’ arrival in December will be a reflection of Alan Parker’s dedication to cricket in Ballarat.
During an announcement yesterday at the Eastern Oval, Ballarat Cricket Association vice-president David Nichols said the bid to get the Renegades to Ballarat was credited to Parker’s relentless work.
Parker, who was the BCA president, died suddenly last week.
“For the cricket community, Alan was the driving force behind everything we achieved,” Nichols said.
“He’d be over the moon with today’s announcement, he penciled it in as a major event months ago.
“We hope this goes off as a bit of a tribute to him and to his family.
“Having the Renegades here will be a great thing for our cricket community.”
The Renegades will arrive for the Wipe-off Five Ballarat Bush Bash on December 13. The three-day pre-season camp comes ahead of the Big Bash season round one on December 20.
Ballarat was selected from a pool of regional centres including Bendigo and Geelong to host the Renegades pre-season camp.
The camp will include two free practice matches, an open training session and a junior super-clinic.
Melbourne Renegades chief executive officer Stuart Coventry said Ballarat would provide a great training platform for the team.
“We are sure the city will provide us with great support and our players are excited to come here,” Coventry said.
Ballaray City Council deputy mayor Samantha McIntosh was delighted when she was presented with a personalised Renegades guernsey.
“The Renegades arrival is a good opportunity to encourage our young people to get active and healthy,” McIntosh said.
Victorian opening batsman Aaron Finch heads the Renegades’ 16-player roster, which also features legendary Sri Lankan spin bowler Muthiah Muralidaran.
Others players include James Pattinson, Peter Siddles, Alex Doolan, Matthew Gale, Fawad Ahmed, Will Sheridan, Jayde Herrick, Nathan Rimmington, Daniel Haris, Tom Cooper, Aaron O’Brien, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer and Michael Hill.