Team: Melbourne Renegades
City: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Ground: Docklands Stadium, Melbourne
Number of Titles: 1
Who Are the Melbourne Renegades?
The Melbourne Renegades are one of two Melbourne based franchises in Australia’s T20 cricket franchise league, the BBL. The Renegades or also nicknamed as “The Gades” play in a red coloured kit and play their home matches at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, which has a capacity of 47,000. At the end of the 2016-17 BBL season the Docklands Stadium was voted as the most entertaining venue for T20 cricket in Australia. The franchise is currently coached by David Saker and captained by Nic Maddinson.
Someone who epitomises the Renegades and has been with the franchise since its inception, is Australian limited overs captain and T20 World Cup winning captain Aaron Finch. Finch over the years has been ably supported by some wonderful overseas players, including West Indies all-rounder and T20 superstar, Dwayne Bravo (2013-2018), Mohammed Nabi of Afghanistan (2017-present) and the most prolific bowler in international cricket history, Sri Lankan, Muttiah Muralitharan (2012-2014).
It wouldn’t be right to talk about the Renegades without mentioning their strong rivalry with other Melbourne based side the Melbourne Stars. The Melbourne Derby is arguably the biggest fixture on the BBL calendar.
The popularity of the fixture was exemplified in BBL05 during the first leg of the two derbies at the MCG, which drew in an incredible crowd of 80,833 which is the highest crowd for any domestic cricket match ever in the history of the sport. However, the Renegades have found themselves largely on the losing side in this fixture, only managing 7 wins in 22 matches.
The BBL History of Melbourne Renegades
After a tough first season in the BBL (finishing second last in the group stages), the Renegades would turn this round the following year in BBL02. The Gades finished the group stages in first place, only losing one game to the Perth Scorchers. But their successful season came to an end in the semi-finals when the lost to the Brisbane Heat by 15 runs.
What followed, was a very lean patch for the Renegades as they failed to go beyond the group stage in their next 4 seasons. This ended in the 2017-18 season when the Gades qualified for the semi-finals. But were again beaten at this stage of the competition losing to the Adelaide Strikers by a heart breaking 1 run.
Building on the success of 2017-2018 season, came the Renegades most successful season where they were able to win the competition (BBL08). The Gades finished the regular season in second place, qualifying for the semi-finals where they chased down 180 runs to beat the Sydney Sixers. Then came the final, where they met their big rival the Melbourne Stars. In front of 40,000 at the Docklands Stadium, the Renegades won the match by 13 runs, to win their first and only BBL title.
However, in stark contrast to this success has come the Renegades worst period in their history. Since BBL08 to BBL11 (the present), the Gades have finished in last place, winning the ‘wooden spoon’ for three consecutive seasons. They will be hoping to turn around their fortunes come BBL12.
Who Holds the Melbourne Renegades Records?
Aaron Finch has largely propped up the Melbourne Renegades in their batting department. He is the second leading run scorer in BBL history with 2,817 runs from 86 innings at an average of 34.77. He also holds the only two centuries scored for the Melbourne Renegades. His records dwarf next best, Renegades stalwart and Netherlands international, Tom Cooper 1,202 runs from 62 innings.
It is a similar story in the bowling department with fast bowler and Australian international Kane Richardson, who has 80 wickets in 54 matches (also the third leading wicket taker in BBL history).
The next best is leg spinner Cameron Boyce who has 40 wickets from 33 matches. But his best moment and arguably of the most astounding moments in BBL history came in the most recent season in BBL11, where he was the first player in BBL history to take 4 wickets in 4 balls against the Sydney Thunder. He went on to take career best and the franchises best bowling figures taking 5 wickets for 11 runs.