As the Hobart Hurricanes host the Melbourne Stars in their Christmas Eve game, skipper Matthew Wade is expecting a big crowd.
With 10,000 fans expected after showings of 3316, 5673 and 1917, the pressure is on for Hurricanes fans to show up for their marquee game.
"It will be nice to see the stadium full," Wade said.
"It's been a quiet start to the year with crowds especially, obviously with COVID and everyone leading into Christmas.
"We want to keep this as our marquee game and to get a big crowd will certainly help that."
On-field, the Hurricanes will be boosted by the full-time return of paceman Riley Meredith, who was subbed out of the Monday night loss to the Perth Scorchers.
Returning ahead of schedule, the Tasmanian took 1-1 off one over and is fully recovered from a hamstring injury.
"Expectations are always high on [Meredith] to come out and bowl fast and he's got a terrific record at BBL level but for us, it's a long tournament," Wade said.
"We've had him firing for the first eight to 10 games in a lot of these BBL tournaments and towards the back end, he's got injured, so a slow build will be nice.
"He'll have some good games and some bad games in the next month but we understand that we need him towards the back end of the tournament at his best."
Wade is also backing his batting group to get back into form, reeling at 7-64 in the last match-up, which the captain admitted "is not good enough".
He sits second in the Hurricanes' batting stats, having hit 130 runs at a strike-rate of 157, while D'Arcy Short leads the way with 138 at an uncharacteristic 103 rate.
It's Wade's form that has Stars' import Andre Russell wary.
"These guys are quality players, Matthew Wade, we know what he can do," Russell said.
"He's one of the players that can actually hurt us and we know that home games can give energy to players and we come here, and they know this ground more than myself and a couple of the guys so I've been asking questions ... because I haven't played here in a couple of years."
Having played the last three games for the Stars, Russell has two games left before heading home to rest before T20s against Ireland and England, with the 33-year-old having played in the CPL, IPL and T20 World Cup before the Big Bash.
"I'm really looking forward to cashing in on some good performances for the Stars," he said.
"This is a good bunch of guys, they make me feel at home and I want to do something special before I exit this half of the tournament."
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