Former Indian phenom Yuvraj SIngh has confirmed his participation in the Bushfire Cricket Bash fundraising match. He will be joined by Pakistani great Wasim Akram. These two become the first international players to confirm their availablity for the match.
The match is played in order to help the victims of the bushfire which has ravaged several parts of Australia. 'Mr Cricket' Michael Hussey, too, has confirmed his availability for the match. The match set to take place on February 8, will be played to raise funds and all match profits will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. The venue, however, has not been decided yet.
Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Alex Blackwell and Michael Clarke will feature in the match while Steve Waugh and Mel Jones will be involved in a non-playing capacity. Sachin Tendulakar and Courtney Walsh will coach the teams captained by Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting.
"Chose the right team and more importantly the right cause my friend. Hope that the Bushfire Cricket Bash will go a long way in providing relief to the people and wildlife in Australia," Tendulkar had tweeted after his confirmation.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Roberts, said they are honoured to be welcoming Tendulkar and Walsh and are waiting for the 'special day'.
"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," Roberts said in a statement.
"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," he added.
Warne himself raised over 1 million Australian dollar for bushfire relief after putting his treasured baggy green up for auction. "It is going to be a huge and special day. It's nice to be part of it," Ponting told reporters. Warne also congratulated Cricket Australia for the initiative and hoped to raise enough funds.
On the same day, the Indian women's team will take on its Australian counterparts in a T20 World Cup clash.