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Hogg keen for first BBL local derby at MCG

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016 Jason Phelan

Brad Hogg has watched with envy from afar as the Melbourne Renegades' rivalry with the Melbourne Stars developed and he can't wait to get his first taste of a local derby.

Hogg's Renegades make the short trip across the city to the MCG to face the Stars on New Year's Day in an important match for the team he joined after five BBL campaigns with the Perth Scorchers.

The corresponding fixture in BBL05 drew a record crowd of 80,883 fans and organisers are preparing for similar numbers on Sunday.

"I can't wait ... one of the biggest things I was looking forward to with the move was (this game)," Hogg said.

"This is the one that I've wanted to see (firsthand) and experience.

"I'm really looking forward to it."

Organisers are urging fans to buy tickets before Sunday and arrive early for the 6.10pm AEDT start in a bid to avoid the chaotic scenes of last season that saw thousands stuck outside the ground after the game had started.

The Renegades are 1-1 going into the clash after suffering a dramatic last-ball loss to Hogg's old side at Etihad Stadium, while the Stars have only played one game - a season-opening win against Hobart.

Melbourne's red team suffered a huge blow with the loss of star import Dwayne Bravo to a hamstring injury in the four-wicket loss, but Hogg backed his side to bounce back.

"It's a small battle in a big tournament ... the war is not won yet," he said.

"You can't dwell on the losses, you dwell on the positives, and the positives for us are that we held on in the contest right until the end.

"I think with any successful team in any tournament, if they lose the losses are very small."

Stars import Kevin Pietersen will feature for the first time this campaign after missing his side's first clash to spend Christmas with his family in England.

Pietersen scored 323 runs for his team in BBL05 to be named the club's player of the tournament and the 36-year-old feels he can hit the ground running after scoring runs in South Africa in the lead up to Christmas.

"It's a big occasion but for the players you've got to simplify things and not make mountains out of molehills," Pietersen said.

"I'm going to prepare the same way and if I get runs I get runs, if I don't I don't.

"I don't lose any sleep over getting runs and I don't lose any sleep if I don't get runs - I prepare the same way.

"I've done that through my whole career. I'm meticulous in my preparation and then on game day, whether it's 80, 90 or 100,000 (fans), I'll just enjoy the occasion like everyone else."

The fixture is a double-header with the top-of-the-table WBBL Melbourne Stars to host cellar dwelling Melbourne Renegades in the curtain-raiser.

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