On Saturday, Cricket Australia finally announced the player-pool participating in the much anticipated Australian bush-fire relief match. The iconic match, titled the ‘Bushfire Cricket Bash’, will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 8th February. The charity match will perfectly prelude the equally anticipated grand-finale of the ongoing Big-Bash League.
Former Australia captains, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting will lead the respective teams, featuring the likes of Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist and Alex Blackwell, among many others. The men’s team coach, Justin Langer, is another notable inclusion. The squad also features a number of international stars, including the likes of India’s Yuvraj Singh, and Pakistani fast-bowler Wasim Akram. In fact, legendary West Indies batsman, Brian Lara, also confirmed his participation in the game just this Friday. Holly Ferling and Dan Christian are two of the active international-cricketers taking part in the game. Joining them will be legendary Australian rules football star, Nick Riewoldt. Cricket legends, Sachin Tendulkar and Courtney Walsh will coach both the high-profile teams. Ponting and Warne will announce their teams’ starting XIs over the course of next week.
Rules for the match
As far as the rules of the match go, Cricket Australia has kept things quite straight-forward. It’ll be a ten-over-per-team affair, with five-overs of power-play where, interestingly, there’ll be no bowling restrictions, but the batsmen will be able to continue even after they’re out. There’s no over-cap for the bowlers, and fielders can substitute themselves on-field as-and-when they prefer. The team captains will additionally, be able to substitute batsmen in and out during the innings.
Besides the cricketers who are playing, renowned cricket icons like Steve Waugh and Mel Jones, as well as legendary rugby player Andrew Johns, will contribute to the popularity of the match in a non-playing capacity. All the revenue generated from the match will go into the Australian Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. The funds hence generated will be instrumental for the families and topography severely affected by the ravaging bush-fires that plagued the country a few weeks ago. Organisations all around the globe have lauded Cricket Australia for its noble initiative.
Squad for the match: Shane Warne (c), Ricky Ponting (c), Adam Gilchrist, Alex Blackwell, Andrew Symonds, Brad Fittler, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Brian Lara, Dan Christian, Nick Riewoldt, Elyse Villani, Grace Harris, Holly Ferling, Justin Langer, Luke Hodge, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Phoebe Litchfield, Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh.
Coaches: Sachin Tendulkar, Courtney Walsh
Non-playing capacity: Steve Waugh, Mel Jones, Andrew Johns