'Renegades Recruit' offers unique pathway to BBL squad
A reality television production will see a club cricketer join Cameron Boyce and the Melbourne Renegades on their trip to Darwin for the T20 Strike League
22 July 2021, 08:22 PM AEST
In the spirit of 'The Apprentice', the Melbourne Renegades are offering an unsung Victoria-based community cricketer a chance to join the club's playing squad and potentially don the red uniform in next month's T20 Strike League competition in Darwin.
The KFC BBL|08 champions are launching ‘Renegades Recruit', a two-part reality television production streamed live on the club's social media channels and News Corp’s Kayo service next week.
Appearance on the show was open to any male player in Victoria aged 18 or over who had not previously earned a place on a state contract list nor had gained selection for a senior Premier Cricket team in the past two years.
Nominations were lodged by community clubs or associations.
Victorian cricket is no stranger to this type of initiative with current Hampshire allrounder Ian Holland the recipient of a rookie contract with the Victorian state team in the 2012-13 season when he was announced as the winner of Foxtel's 'Cricket Superstar' television show.
It is hoped the fresh concept opens a new pathway to elite-level cricket for players from local suburban or regional competitions who possess the skills to succeed but might have otherwise slipped through the net cast by recruiters and development programs.
The successful nominees will be put through their paces by Renegades coaching staff and squad members, with an online public vote held during the final episode to decide which player wins the final berth in the Renegades squad for the two-week Strike League competition starting August 15.
'Renegades Recruit' will be aired next Monday and Thursday with the winner to join head coach David Saker and the club's academy squad on the plane to Darwin where the Renegades' cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars will also be taking part in the Strike League competition.
The Renegades Academy squad includes Australia-capped leg-spinner Cameron Boyce as well as Victoria representatives Mackenzie Harvey, Jake Fraser-McGurk and Zak Evans and former New South Wales and Brisbane Heat seamer Josh Lalor.
The winner of 'Renegades Recruit' will not be the only new face at the club which finished at the foot of the BBL ladder for the past two seasons, with Saker returning to the role he initially filled in 2015-16 to take over the coaching reins from Michael Klinger.
"This is a great opportunity for our squad to get some competitive T20 match experience at a time of the year they would otherwise be confined to the nets," Saker said of his academy team's involvement in the Strike League.
"There are a number of players with first-class experience featuring across all teams in the tournament so our players will get a lot out of it."
In addition to the two Melbourne-based BBL outfits, the Strike League's four Darwin teams will feature established senior players the likes of Test batter Kurtis Patterson, former Australia ODI quick Chris Tremain and last year's Marsh One Day Cup player of the year joint-winner, Tom Andrews.
The six-team TIO Men's Strike League tournament runs from August 15-27 under lights at Darwin's DXC Arena and forms the final element of Cricket Northern Territory's inaugural Cricket 365 program designed to provide Australia with year-round top-level competition.
The current Renegades Academy squad is: Cameron Boyce, Xavier Crone, Brody Couch, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Tom Jackson, Josh Lalor, Cameron McClure, Fergus O'Neill, Nick Ross, Brayden Stepien, Kyle Williamson.