Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies fast-bowling great Courtney Walsh will coach the Ponting XI and Warne XI respectively in the Bushfire Cricket Bash on Saturday (February 8). (More Cricket News)
The bushfire relief cricket match is one of three headline acts on cricket’s day of giving, The Big Appeal, with Tendulkar and Walsh joining former Australian Captain, Ricky Ponting, and Australia’s most prolific wicket-taker, Shane Warne, as leaders of the two sides.
Recognising the ongoing and incredible work of volunteers, career firefighters and emergency services, three matches will be played on the day, starting with the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Tri-Series T20I clash between Australia and India, followed by the Bushfire Cricket Bash and the KFC Big Bash League Final.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Roberts, said:
“We are absolutely honoured to be welcoming Sachin and Courtney back to Australia where they both enjoyed a lot of success as players, and we can’t wait to have them involved in what is going to be a special day.
“Both in the ICC Hall of Fame, Sachin is the greatest run-scorer of all time in international cricket, and we all remember what Courtney could do with the ball, taking more than 500 Test wickets.
“We’re looking forward to our people at CA and the entire Australian cricket family coming together for the Big Appeal.”
To date, former Australian cricketers confirmed to play include Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Alex Blackwell and Michael Clarke. Steve Waugh and Mel Jones will be involved in a non-playing capacity. The remaining players and further details about The Big Appeal will be announced in the next two weeks.
All match profits and funds raised on the day will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
In addition to the match, the Community Bushfire Recovery Fund was announced to support the many cricket clubs and cricket communities affected to get back on their feet with an injection of $2 million from CA to open the fund.
In March, the Gillette One-Day International Series against New Zealand will be dedicated to the volunteers and emergency services workers, people who have lost loved ones, property or livelihoods to the bushfires across the country, and community cricket club members impacted by the unfolding disaster.
The organisation will take the opportunity to thank these communities for all they have done and suffered through with on-field acknowledgments.