Former Australia players – Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting will come out of their retirement to play a charity game. The game will take place to raise fund for victims of Australia’s bushfires. Other players who will play are Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Alex Blackwell and Australia coach Justin Langer.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh and former Australian women’s player Mel Jones will have a non-playing role. All match profits and funds raised during the February 8 game will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
However, Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts said he hoped it would play an important part in helping victims. At least 27 people were killed and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in the devastating fire.
Kevin Roberts spoke about the incident
“People the world over have seen the overwhelming images of hundreds of thousands of hectares burnt, precious lives lost, hundreds of properties destroyed and the devastating loss of wildlife as a result of the fires,” he said.
“These images have reinforced the need to get behind organisations like the Australian Red Cross which is responding to the immediate requirements of people who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods,” he added.
Cricket Australia also added Aus$2 million (US$1.38 million) into a fund to help community cricket clubs affected by the fires. On Friday, the “baggy green” cap of Shane Warne sold at auction for more than Aus$1 million. The whole amount went to victims.
Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has given $500,000. On the other hand, tennis superstar Serena Williams has also auctioned a dress she wore at the WTA Auckland Classic. A “Rally for Relief” exhibition match at the Rod Laver Arena will take place in Melbourne on Wednesday. Williams and Roger Federer will take place in the game before the Australian Open to raise fund as well.
Cricket’s triple-header for Bushfire Relief
Saturday, February 8
1st Match: Commonwealth Bank Women’s Tri-Series T20I, Australia vs India, Junction Oval, Melbourne
2nd Match: Bushfire Cricket Bash, Ricky Ponting XI vs Shane Warne XI (venue – TBC)
3rd Match: KFC Big Bash League Final, TBC vs TBC (venue – TBC)