Cricket: KFC T20 Big Bash League - Renegades v Stars
Friday December 7
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Sky Sports 3 8am
We might be getting excited about Test cricket again, but is there now a fan of the sport anywhere who doesn’t secretly love Twenty20 too? This weekend sees the start of the Big Bash competition in Australia, the down under version of the IPL. And the Bash starts with a bang straight away, as the first two fixtures see derby matches in both Melbourne and Sydney.
First up this morning, then, Melbourne Renegades take on Melbourne Stars. What that means is Murali v Warne (pictured), Du Plessis v Malinga and... er, Pattinson v Pattinson.
A tremendous start, but chances are there will be more fireworks tomorrow – when attention moves north for the duel between last year’s champions the Sydney Sixers and the Michael Clarke-led Sydney Thunder at the SCG (Sky Sports 4, 8am).
For the Sixers, despite the presence of the likes of Brett Lee, David Warner and Brad Haddin, all eyes will be on England’s Michael Lumb, who won the Golden Bat award as the competition’s top scorer last season. For the Thunder, Clarke, who has been in ridiculously good Test form, may have to take a back seat to the world’s most thrilling Twenty20 batsman, Chris Gayle.
And the action doesn’t stop there – on Sunday the Brisbane Heat host the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba (Sky Sports 4, 7am). Cue another standing ovation for the visitors’ Ricky Ponting. This could run and run.