Former Australian players Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne are persuading the greats of the game Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and MS Dhoni to join their team for the star-studded bush fire relief charity match.
The two Australian greats will captain the sides in Cricket Australia’s Bushfire Cricket Bash, which will be played prior to the Big Bash League final on February 8. The matches will form part of a triple-header of cricket on the same day, with Australia to host India in a women’s Twenty20 international in Melbourne.
Greats of the game like Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Justin Langer, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Alex Blackwell will also take part in the match. On the other hand, former men's Test and ODI skipper Steve Waugh and former Australian women's player Mel Jones will also be involved in a non-playing capacity.
“Hopefully a few big names will get involved as well, From all sorts, whether it be music, film, TV or sports from different codes. We’re trying to put together an electric group, a diverse group that people will identify with.” Warne said on Sunday.
“We can only try,” Ponting said. “We can only reach out to them and see if they want to help out. It’s been a pretty tragic time in Australia. All those guys who have been out here and traveled with different countries have had great times in Australia, whether it’s playing here or getting out and about. It sometimes can be amazing what people will do to try and help others out in difficult times.”
The venue will only be decided when the host of the BBL final is confirmed, but the MCG and SCG are frontrunners given the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers sits as the table toppers.
All profits and funds raised during all three games on February 8th will go towards the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund. CA employees have been funded by chief executives to be able to volunteer up to three days supporting recovery efforts in bushfire-affected areas.
“We’ve already seen the cricket community respond massively to raise funds for communities impacted by the fires at a national, state and community level. Australian cricket recognizes the significant impact the fires have had to date on community sporting facilities across the country.” CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said.