Hi Stars fans and Bobbymaniacs. Welcome back to the second installment of the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
I hope you've had a good winter and you're looking forward to seeing the Melbourne Stars boys come out to play!
The new BBL|02 season brings new faces, but before I get to them, I just want to acknowledge the services of last season's players who are no longer on our list: George Bailey, Adam Voges, Chris Simpson and Jade Dernbach - a big thank you and good luck for the future.
To our new recruits, a big welcome to you all. From Lasith Malinga, to Dan ' Franky' Worrall, and everyone in between...
It was great to get another up on our rivals in the off-season too with Brad Hodge and Glenn Maxwell seeing the light and coming over to greener pastures!
Hodgey brings a plethora of runs and experience. Him and Dave Huss are arguably the best T20 bats in Australia and peform very well together.
Maxi brings youth, energy and massive levels of ability in all facets of the game. He's going to be important for us with bat, ball and in the field.
Mind you I'm most looking forward to seeing Lasith Malinga showcase his skill and pace. He seems to always take a wicket or two upfront, and bowl 'hard to get under' Yorkers at the death. He is a very valuable addition to the already strong line-up.
Last week had a camp down at Phillip Island for some team bonding time ahead of the tournament beginning. We had the usual admin stuff to do, like bat signings, photos and videos, but also relaxed and had some fun as a team.
We had a surfing session down Smiths Beach the first afternoon. Majority of us had not surfed before, and it showed... I was horrendous, but managed to ride one small one in. Pete Handscomb was probably best on ground for the novices. Poor old Clive Rose was not a natural!
That night we had a big team dinner, which was emceed by our Chief Hydration Officer, Andy Lee. We also had a guest speaker who really captivated the room. Rachel Robertson spoke to us about her 12 months as the team leader of a base camp working on climate control in Antarctica. Very interesting for us as topics like leadership, bringing together diverse groups and dealing with emotions in a foreign place were correlated with cricket.
The next day we had a few chats as a team and in particular, a pretty special session with two of the greats. The entire team was on the edge of their seats listening to Viv and Warnie talking about their time during successful eras.
We finished our camp with a bloody fun session at the Phillip Island Go-Kart track. It was seriously competitive! Hodgey beat Warnie by half a second, which left the King a touch unhappy. He even organized an extra 5-laps to get one back on the Dodgeball with no avail. Clint McKay ended up trying to run blokes off road. He got me a couple of times, but I had my revenge!
For my next few blogs, I will be attempting a Q&A/Interviews with different Stars players, hoping to get plenty of info out of them. If you have any preferences as to who I should sit down and annoy, let me know on here or my twitter account @BobbyQuiney.
We hope to give you fans a good show against the Renegades tonight. It will be great to go 2-0 up on them. Make sure you come along to Etihad, and support the stars by being seen in green.
‘Til next blog, stay safe and enjoy colonel in moderation,