‘GADES TO BRING BIG BASH TO GEELONG01 September 2017Martin Smith@martinsmith9994Kardinia Park to become newest Big Bash venue as Tim Ludeman and Sophie Molineux sign on
Melbourne Renegades have brought powerful wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Ludeman back to his native Victoria for the upcoming KFC BBL season. The Renegades announced today they had picked up Ludeman from the Adelaide Strikers after the 30-year-old lost his contract with South Australia for this season.The club also confirmed that Kardinia Park in Geelong will host Big Bash cricket for points for the very first time, with a BBL-WBBL double-header against the Sydney Sixers scheduled for January 3. The venue has hosted pre-season Big Bash matches in the past and also became Australia's 11th international venue for men's cricket when it hosted a T20 between Australia and Sri Lanka earlier this year.Ludeman, who has moved back to Geelong after losing his SA contract, said he expected the locals to get behind their first taste of serious Big Bash cricket. "It’s a great opportunity for the club to go to a new region and give the fans a taste of the BBL and WBBL action live in their backyard," he said. "I’m really pleased to have joined the Renegades and can’t wait for the season to start."The Renegades also announced the re-signing of star allrounder Sophie Molineux for the Rebel WBBL after the 19-year-old was named the inaugural winner of the Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year Award at AB Medal night in January. Ludeman finished in the top-10 highest run-scorers in BBL|04 and BBL|05 but played just three matches for the Strikers last season as import Ben Dunk was preferred behind the stumps. The dashing right-hander could play a major role this season given the Renegades' No.1 keeper-batsman Matthew Wade is expected to miss the majority of the tournament due to international duty.The Renegades have a strong core squad already locked in for BBL|07, highlighted by the return of star Caribbean duo Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine. The current squad also features experienced Aussies in Wade, Aaron Finch and Cameron White, as well as exciting paceman James Pattinson, as they aim to bounce back from narrowly missing the finals last summer. Reports suggest Victorians Jon Holland and Brad Hodge could be set for homecomings with the red half of Melbourne this season, but Ludeman is their first official signing of the off-season. Current BBL Squad: Dwayne Bravo, Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Tim Ludeman, Sunil Narine, James Pattinson, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Cameron White.