The highly-anticipated local derby between Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades at the MCG has smashed the Big Bash League attendance record.
A Cricket Australia spokesman announced that 80,883 people had poured through the turnstiles on Saturday night - easily surpassing the previous record of 52,637 at Adelaide Oval.
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“It’s been a great day for cricket," said Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager – Operations.
“We were absolutely delighted to see crowds across the country come out in force, with record attendances at our men’s and women’s Big Bash League matches.
“To have more than 80,000 people at the MCG for the local Melbourne derby, then to witness a sell out in Perth for a re-match of last year’s final, all on the same day, was a genuine milestone in the short history of the league.
“The Big Bash League is continuing to develop but it is successfully delivering on its purpose to attract kids, families and females to the game.”
McKenna also praised the success of the Rebel Women's Big Bash League after almost 13,000 patrons flooded into the MCG to watch the Stars take on the Renegades in the first match of the blockbuster derby double header.
Forget the result for a second pls...WHAT A F...K..G unbelievable crowd this eve! The @BBL is insane & Melbourne - I ❤️ you xxx
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) January 2, 2016
“It’s still early days but we are very pleased with the strong start to the Women’s Big Bash League," he said. "We want to show young girls that they too can aspire to represent their favourite BBL club.
“To have set an attendance world record for a women’s domestic cricket match with almost 13,000 people, shows the potential of the women’s game here in Australia.”
CA apologised to fans who were left waiting outside the MCG after new security measures struggled to cope with the record crowd, defending the efforts of venue management.
"The Melbourne Cricket Ground has been highly proactive in their security measures for major cricket events this summer," a spokesperson said.
"The match tonight experienced an unprecedented record crowd for domestic cricket. We thank fans for their patience and apologise for the delays experienced entering the ground tonight.
"The safety and security of our fans, players and officials is always our number one priority and rest assured we'll continue to work with the MCG to ensure everyone has a fantastic experience at any cricket event this summer."