He won’t be there in person on Friday but that won’t stop Melbourne Stars all-rounder Glenn Maxwell being at Etihad Stadium in spirit.
‘Maxi’ will be gathering around a TV set with the rest of the lads playing in Friday’s Chairman’s XI fixture to watch the opening KFC T20 Big Bash League Melbourne derby.
A strong performance against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval in front of watchful eyes during the day could put him in contention for a Test spot for the forthcoming three-match series.
But at night he’ll have the Stars on his mind when they battle his old club the Renegades.
“I would have liked to have been there for the first game, playing against my old team, but I’ll be missing it for all the right reasons,” he said.
“I’ll be rushing back to my hotel room after play, sitting back and watching with a couple of the guys with a lot of interest and hopefully watch a Stars win, that would be a great start to the tournament.
“Being the first game you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. On paper we’ve got a terrific side but that doesn’t mean a lot unless you go out there and perform.
“But hopefully everything clicks for us and we have a good win.”
Maxwell joined the Stars in the close season following evergreen batsman Brad Hodge's departure from their derby rivals.
The left-hander has been building up the game all week with good friend, and Fitzroy Doncaster teammate Lloyd Mash, who is the Renegades assistant coach this season.
He's sure to rib 'Mashy' if the game goes in the Stars favour Friday night.
Speaking about his decision to leave he said the chance to play at the MCG in front of a passionate Stars crowd was one of the main reasons he made the switch.
Also there's the added bonus of lining up alongside the greatest ever spin bowler.
“As I said before we’ve got an amazing side on paper, we've put a really good squad together," he continued.
“When Hodgey signed it was an opportunity to play with him, when Warnie did it was superb. He’s been great just with his strategies and field placing, I'm sure I will learn a lot off him as a spinner too.
“The opportunity to play at the MCG was a major factor and the chance to play in such a good line-up was something I couldn’t refuse.
“There’s not really much I can say about the Renegades because it’s a completely different side from last season. But there’s still Aaron Finch there, he’s an excellent player and the Vic guys know him pretty well.
"Our squad is ready for it. We had a couple of amazing days in Phillip Island which was really good for the team to get to know each other. Hopefully that will put us in good stead for the tournament, we can gell quickly and hit the ground running in round one.”
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