Former Australian and Victorian batsman Dean Jones believes the record crowd that watched the Stars defeat the Renegades in the Melbourne derby is an historic moment for domestic cricket.
The crowd of 80,883 easily eclipsed the previous highest figure for a domestic match – 52,633 between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers at the Adelaide Oval last summer.
It went close to eclipsing the 85,824 that watched Australia thrash India in a T20 international at the MCG back in February, 2008.
Jones, who also captained Victoria and is part of the Macquarie Radio Summer of Cricket commentary team, said the Big Bash League has been a huge success for introducing children, women and families to the sport with record crowds being set in several capital cities so far this season.
The Stars seven-wicket victory keeps their semi-final hopes alive – but all but ends the hopes of the Renegades.
Set 162 to win, an unbeaten century to opener Luke Wright was the highlight of the Stars run chase.
His 109 not out from 63 balls was his second century for the Stars and sixth Twenty20 ton overall. He also joined Aaron Finch, Michael Klinger and Shaun Marsh in scoring 1000 runs in the Big Bash League.
Wright struck four sixes and 11 boundaries in a man-of-the match performance with support from Glenn Maxwell (22) and Peter Handscomb (13 not out) as the Stars won with five wickets in hand.
Earlier, former Stars captain Cameron White was the stand-out performer win the Renegades total of 7-161. In his first match against his former teammates, White scored 54 from 39 balls but was caught on the boundary attempting to sweep the fourth six of his innings.
Finch made 36 at the top of the order, Matthew Wade – who took a brilliant catch behind the stumps in the Stars innings – scored 24 while Tom Cooper and Tom Beaton both produced cameo knocks of 12 from six balls late in the innings.
Stars’ all-rounder John Hastings was the best of the bowlers from both teams, claiming 4-26 from his four overs on a memorable night for the competition.