Date of Event : Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:23PM
Melbourne Renegades mascots Willow and Sledge with players Sophie Molineux and Tim Ludeman. Picture: Alison Wynd.


ALEX OATES, Geelong Advertiser
September 1, 2017 4:37pm

HOMEGROWN heroes Tim Ludeman and Aaron Finch are set to be unleashed at the top of the order as the Melbourne Renegades signalled its return to Simonds Stadium.

Ludeman, a product of Warrnambool, was yesterday unveiled as the Renegades’ newest recruit, with coach Andrew McDonald hinting he could form a dynamic partnership alongside Colac export Finch.

Finch, the Renegades skipper, opened the batting largely with Victorian Bushrangers’ teammate Marcus Harris before a handful of late-season cameos from West Indian Sunil Narine.

McDonald revealed the ‘Gades pounced on Ludeman the moment he was cut by South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers at the end of last season.

“When a quality keeper batsman comes out of contract, you’d be remiss not to investigate that,” McDonald said.

“I’ve had a strong relationship with him over time, I played with him at the South Australian Redbacks and I’ve known him from my time in Premier cricket in Victoria and he’s living in Geelong as well, so a lot matched up and I’m glad he’s jumped on board.

“He gives us flexibility. He can open the batting, he can bat down the order and finish innings and he’s a fantastic gloveman, if not the best gloveman going around in Australia so we’re thrilled to have him on board and he’s a good inclusion for the summer ahead.”

Ludeman was relieved to finally to pen to paper with the Renegades, having been left in limbo for several months in the wake of the pay saga.

“It’s really exciting,” Ludeman said.

“I’m looking forward to getting in red again and the summer of Big Bash. It’s going to be great to see a new environment, playing under the roof and then a game down in Geelong.

“It’s going to be brilliant. There’s some high-quality players among the squad.”

Star all-rounder Sophie Molineux has also extended her tenure at Etihad Stadium, signing for a further two seasons.

“It’s really exciting,” Molineux said.

“They’ve built a really good culture and we’ve got a really good mix of youth and experiences so the signs are really exciting. We’re enjoying ourselves on the field and hopefully the results will come.”

McDonald, who brought his team to Simonds Stadium for a practice match against cross-town rivals Melbourne Stars last summer, said his players were thrilled to be making a return trip.

“It’s great for the community, great for the team and it’s a fantastic stadium so we’re really looking forward to playing against the Sixers,” he said.

“It’s a great sporting town. I know it’s a regional hub, but over that period of time the population swells down here and we’ll be taking centre stage.

“We’re really thrilled to play down here, and with a capacity of 36,000, we’re hoping we get a nice, balmy summer’s day and it’s packed out. It will be a fantastic spectacle.”

Last updated: Friday November 10, 2017 4:06PM
Author: Geelong Cricket Club