KFC Big Bash League clubs Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars are heading north this winter to join NT Cricket’s TIO Strike League T20 tournament.


The T20 tournament, which is a key component of the inaugural Cricket 365 program, will take place across 15-27 August at DXC Arena and see the Renegades and Stars take on the City Cyclones, Desert Blaze, Northern Tide and Southern Storm.


The inclusion of academy teams from each of the Big Bash clubs will see the 2021 Cricket 365 program end with a bang, with two weeks of non-stop T20 action to take place under lights at DXC Arena in Marrara.


Cricket fans in the Top End will be treated to high quality cricket, with Renegades and Stars teams set to feature a mix of regular BBL stars as well as academy players seeking to secure a contract ahead of BBL|11.


And in further good news for cricket fans, it won’t only be those in the Top End who get to follow the action.


NT Cricket and News Corporation Australia also announced today that all 17 matches of the TIO Strike League T20 tournament will be available to watch around the country exclusively on ntnews.com.au and heraldsun.com.au


The livestream will be accessible to anyone with a News digital subscription.


Commenting on the announcement NT Cricket CEO Joel Morrison said today’s developments were a huge boost to the Cricket 365 program.


“With Australia’s best young players taking part in Cricket 365 the quality of cricket was already elite, but the Renegades and Stars will take things to another level. 


“The ability to play elite cricket year-round in Australia is a competitive advantage for our game and the inclusion of two Big Bash academy teams further reinforces the importance of our winter program.


“We’re excited to partner with News Corporation Australia to livestream all 17 matches and we look forward to showcasing the best of the Territory on and off the field.”


News Sport Network Managing Director Michael Wilkins said the company was thrilled to be partnering with NT Cricket on the T20 component of the Cricket 365 program.


“At News we are committed to bringing more sports content to our readers nationally. 


“With all 17 matches being exclusively live streamed across our platforms, we can celebrate our cricket stars in the short format game.”


Cricket Victoria’s High-Performance Manager Dean Russ said:


“We’re delighted to bring together some of the best Victorian Premier Cricket talent and provide an opportunity for them to play and train with the Renegades in a competitive tournament.


“Coaching staff will get a first-hand look at some of the best Premier cricketers and equally the players will get the opportunity to show their skills against some accomplished first-class players while learning from some experienced teammates and coaches.”


Melbourne Renegades Coach David Saker said:


“This is a great opportunity for our squad to get some competitive T20 match experience at a time of the year they would otherwise be confined to the nets.


“There are a number of players with first-class experience featuring across all teams in the tournament so our players will get a lot out of it.”


Melbourne Stars Interim General Manager Blair Couch said:


“The work NT Cricket has done to bring the Strike League to life in recent years and give southern states the opportunity for quality competition during winter is a fantastic outcome.


“It’s a great chance for some of our guys to get white ball game time during winter and it also gives us a chance to have a look at other players who might be in the mix in the future.”


Full details on the TIO Men’s Strike League T20 tournament fixture including all livestream information and ticketing details will be available soon.