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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bushfire Bash shifted out of Sydney to Melbourne, Shane Warne opts out

The Bushfire Bash has been shifted from the SCG because of forecast of torrential rain and will now be played in Melbourne on Sunday.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: February 6, 2020 4:42:05 pm
Shane Warne, Alex Blackwell, and Ricky Ponting. (Source: Twitter)

Cricket Australia made a call ahead of the much-awaited charity fundraiser, the Bushfire Bash, taking into consideration the weather of Sydney and confirmed that it will not go ahead at the Sydney Cricket Ground because of possibility of torrential rain this weekend.

The match was earlier scheduled at the SCG on Saturday but will now be held at Melbourne’s Junction Oval on Sunday. They will also hope to facilitate the refund procedure for the 20,000 tickets that were already sold for the proposed double-header this weekend in Sydney.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting 30 to 50mm of rain on Saturday, wet weather conditions which had TV broadcasters pushing for both the charity match and the BBL Final to be moved to the MCG, according to a report from News Corp.

Although there is no reserve day available for the BBL Final in the event of rain interrupting the match, the tie can be reduced to a five-overs affair. However, if the match is completely washed out, the Sixers will be crowned BBL 9 champions as the hosts of the Final.

As for the proposed Bushfire Bash, Sachin Tendulkar and Tim Paine are supposed to coach players such as Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, and Michael Clarke, among others.

Shane Warne was to lead a side but as a result of the change of date, he will not be available for the match due to prior commitments, and Gilchrist will take over as captain, according to cricket.com.au.

Tendulkar’s side will feature a star-studded top order in the form of Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden and Ponting, who scored thousands of runs in Australia’s Test side during their decorated careers.

Following that, legendary trio in the Ponting XI will be West Indian batsman great Brian Lara, Australian women’s player Elyse Villani and teenage sensation Phoebe Litchfield, who rose to prominence in this season’s Rebel Women’s Big Bash League.

Legendary fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Brett Lee, as well as Brad Haddin, Dan Christian, and Australian Rules football great Luke Hodge, are the other members of the side to be coached by Tendulkar.

Gilchrist XI also boasts a powerful top order as well feature the legendary opener himself, former Australia stars Shane Watson and Brad Hodge and Indian great Yuvraj Singh.

Former Australia women’s team captain Alex Blackwell, Andrew Symonds, Windies legend Courtney Walsh, AFL great Nick Riewoldt, recently-retired Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle and leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed. Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine has been named coach.

Two more names will be added to the Gilchrist XI over the coming days, with the late rescheduling of the match forcing some players to drop out, like former Australia captains Steve Waugh and Michael Clarke, and former batsman Michael Hussey.

All profits and funds from the match would go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, which will help victims of the blazes which began in September and have left at least 33 people dead and thousands of homes destroyed.

The match will be a 10-over-per-side contest, with a five-over Powerplay, no bowling restrictions, and batters unable to get out from the first ball they face. Bowlers will not have over limits, fielders can sub on and off as it suits, while captains will have the ability to sub batters in and out during an innings.

(with PTI inputs)

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