Russell, Set to play four games with the Renegades at the start of their BBL12 campaign.
The Jamaican came to Australia via London over the weekend ahead of the start of the Renegades season later this week, after playing in the UAE for the Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 league.
The 2022 edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 league concluded last week, and the competition saw a host of marquee names — including Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid etc — take part.
The number of T10 leagues are steadily increasing, and earlier this year, Cricket West Indies became the first full-member board to start its own league, called the 6ixty. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have already announced that next year, they will be starting their own T10 league known as the ‘Lanka T10 League.’
West Indies superstar says he fears the even shorter format of the game could threaten T20 cricket.
“To be honest, it (T10 cricket) can be (a threat), because you can watch three games in a day, it’s less stress on the body and bowlers just come and bowl two overs,” he told reporters today.
“T20 is always going to be ultimate, (but) I just think it’s the amount of cricket at the moment (means) the players’ availability (is) going to be a big issue.
Russell himself has quit first-class cricket, having not played a single red-ball game in 8 years, but the veteran is hoping that all players don’t fall into the short-format trap.
“Most players, it’s going to make them want to leave the longer format … with the direction T10 leagues are going, there are a lot of different T10 leagues in different parts of the world and they announced that just before the finals in Abu Dhabi.
“I just hope that players still believe in red-ball cricket, still believe in Test cricket and still want to play those formats because the older generation, they will come out and watch five days of cricket. That’s where it all started.”
While he will spend less than two weeks in Australia, Russell will venture all around the country for his quartet of games, starting in Cairns against the Brisbane Heat on Thursday night.
The West Indies power hitter will then play his sole game at Marvel Stadium on Sunday night. another home game in Geelong, and a Christmas Eve clash against the Hurricanes in Hobart.
Russell said he was excited to add to the mixture of experience and youth that the Renegades have on their list this season and hoped it would be the side’s strength.
“We have a good team and I’m really looking forward to meeting the guys and gelling as quick as possible,” he said.
“The team that they have this year is a lot is a lot more all around when I look at ‘Finchy’ (Aaron Finch) at the top, (Nic) Maddison as skipper, I just think that with all the experience that these guys been showcasing over the years and all the good youngsters coming up as well we have to make sure that we just look to start off as well as possible.
“Four games is like the start of the tournament, so I’m trying to enjoy every game and take it one step at a time.”
The Renegades, who have finished bottom in each of the last three editions of the BBL, will kick-start their 2022/23 season against Brisbane Heat in Cairns on Thursday, December 15.