The Big Bash is heading to regional Victoria, with the Melbourne Stars to host defending champions Adelaide Strikers in the Latrobe Valley in January.
A new-look Stars outfit will play the Strikers on January 23 at Moe's Ted Summerton Reserve. The Wednesday match will be an afternoon start, and comes after Australia's ODI series against India, meaning the international limited-overs stars from both sides should be available.
The Adelaide Strikers have confirmed Afghanistan spin sensation and world No.1-ranked T20 bowlers Rashid Khan plus big-hitting South African Colin Ingram as their international signings for BBL|08, with both players expected to play the full season with the club.
The Stars are yet to confirm their international players after the exits of Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright following a disappointing BBL|07 campaign.
The Moe match continues the Stars' association with the Latrobe Valley, which started with last year's 'Valley Smash' that saw the Stars play a practice match against the Hobart Hurricanes in Traralgon.
The Stars will this year head to Moe ahead of BBL|08 for a pre-season Victoria Derby showdown with the Melbourne Renegades.
The clash with the Strikers represents the first time the region will host a competitive in-season match with this year's BBL expanded to a full home-and-away season.
The Big Bash continues to expand outside the metropolitan areas, with the Brisbane Heat and Stars both set to host games on the Gold Coast this summer, while the Strikers will continue their association with Alice Springs, and the Hurricanes will again play matches in Launceston.
Melbourne Stars president Eddie McGuire said: “This is exactly the kind of major sporting event that we hoped to bring to regional Victoria when we announced that the Melbourne Stars would be making the Latrobe Valley our home away from home.
"We’re excited that the young kids of the Latrobe Valley have a chance to see their superstars up close and experience the magic of a Big Bash match in their backyard on January 23."
Melbourne Stars in BBL|08
Current squad: Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa.
In: Travis Dean (Renegades), Nic Maddinson (Sixers).
Out: James Faulkner (Hurricanes), John Hastings (Sixers), Kevin Pietersen (retired), Rob Quiney (retired), Luke Wright.
Roster spots to fill: eight
Internationals signed: zero