Contract locks all-Melbourne BBL decider to Marvel Stadium

Sunday’s Big Bash League final couldn’t be played at the MCG even if Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Renegades wanted it, with Renegades chief Stuart Coventry revealing his club is contractually bound to play all its home finals at Marvel Stadium.

Melbourne Stars president Eddie McGuire has in recent days led calls for the BBL decider to be held at the 'G, which is the Stars’ home ground, to ensure no one gets locked out in the event of a Melbourne derby final.

Dan Christian reacts after the Renegades won their BBL semi-final on Friday night.Credit:AAP

“We’re hoping to get a bumper crowd. If we can get 40,000 plus, it’ll be spectacular cricket.”

Only 15,342 attended Friday night’s semi, however Coventry said that was around what the Renegades had expected, citing a huge amount of cricket played in Melbourne this season as a reason for the very modest turnout. His comments add support to those who suggest the expanded 59-game BBL season has been a flop because it is simply too much of a good thing.

“There’s been a lot of cricket this summer. [Victoria has] had more cricket days than any other state,” Coventry said.

Regardless of Sunday’s result the BBL title will end in Melburnian hands for the first time, with neither club having yet tasted ultimate success.

Coventry said he was glad to see the Stars succeed. “We’re only eight years old as a competition,” he said.

“We’re trying to build a rivalry. And these type of events can help that. I work really closely with my counterpart from the Stars Clint Cooper and I’m just really happy that we’ve both got a chance to play off for it.

“We’ve got a huge amount of respect for our crosstown rivals. They’ve got some great players, and we’ll have to play a really good game to beat them. But it is a grand final and anything can happen. I just want all Victorians to come out and get behind the Renegades.”

Coventry also paid tribute to those who had helped get the Renegades to their first BBL decider.

“It’s just a lot of hard work that’s gone in. Everyone’s getting more sophisticated in the way you put a club together and a team together. Full credit goes to [coach] Andrew McDonald, [captain] Aaron Finch, the work they’ve put in.

"It’s great that both us and the Stars, for Victoria, for Melbourne, are in the grand final. It’s a really wonderful effort and I think everyone’s looking forward to playing on Sunday.”

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