Rivals forced to make changes for BBL derby
Australian Test wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill has returned to the Renegades' squad ahead of tonight's sold-out Big Bash League Melbourne derby against the Stars at Etihad Stadium.
Nevill's inclusion is a big boost for the Renegades, who have lost captain Aaron Finch and keeper Matthew Wade to the Australian one-day squad for the coming series against India, starting in Perth on Tuesday.
The Renegades have also signed Victorian wicketkeeper-batsman Aaron Ayre as a replacement player for the remainder of the season. The 23-year old is originally from Canberra and made his first-class debut for the Bushrangers in a Sheffield Shield match in November.
Ben McDermott and Nathan Hauritz have also returned to the squad in the absence of Nathan Rimmington (injured) and Matt Short (omitted).
Opener Chris Gayle has kept his spot after his controversial "don't blush, baby" comments in an interview with Channel Ten's Mel McLaughlin during his team's five-wicket win over Hobart on Monday night.
The comments prompted allegations of more inappropriate behaviour by the big West Indian, in particular during last year's World Cup.
Gayle has subsequently issued a statement saying he had retained media lawyer Mark O'Brien and would "immediately commence defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media".
For the Stars, Victorian Seb Gotch and South Australian paceman Daniel Worrall come into the squad for the first time, while Rob Quiney and Ben Hilfenhaus return.
Glenn Maxwell, Scott Boland and James Faulkner are on Australian ODI duties.
The Stars are in third place after winning their past three games, that streak including a seven-wicket victory over the Renegades in a last-over thriller in front of a record BBL crowd of more than 80,000 at the MCG last Saturday night.