Former and current cricketers Virender Sehwag, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Kaif, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar and Owais Shah are all slated to play T20 matches in Switzerland next year. However, apart from it being played in Switzerland which is not the first country one associates with the game of cricket, this match comes with a twist. It will be played on ice.
Ice cricket has been played in a resort in St Moritz, Switzerland since 1988 but this will be the first time that major stars will be gracing the field, or the ice.
According to PTI, organiser Vijay Singh of VJ Sports claims the pilot project has the approval of world body ICC. Sehwag, who was present at the launch alongside Mohammed Kaif, said he took just two minutes to say yes to the offer. “I never thought playing cricket on ice was possible but now that it is happening, I wanted to experience it. It won’t be serious cricket but it would still be a challenge to play on ice,” said Sehwag.
Kaif too said that he didn’t need much persuasion to accept the invitation. “Five minutes to be honest. Cricket is not popular in Europe but with this initiative, we can make an impact. And playing on ice does sound very interesting,” said the 36-year-old, who is still playing at the First-Class level.
Players will use the traditional cricketing gear including the red-ball but will wear sports shoes instead of spikes. The weather is reportedly expected to be nice and sunny during the day but the temperatures can dip to as low as -20 degree celsius.