Bushfire relief cricket match: Tendulkar, Walsh to don coaching hats to help raise funds

Melbourne: 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 set to be played on February 8.

The bushfire relief cricket match is one of three headline acts on the cricket’s day of giving ‘The Big Appeal’ with Tendulkar and Walsh joining former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne as leaders of the two sides.

“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,” said Kevin Roberts, Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer.

“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.”

The charity match will be the curtain raiser to the Big Bash final on February 8, with the venue yet to be determined. Both matches, as well as Australia’s women’s T20 match against India at Junction Oval on the same day.

Former Australian cricketers confirmed to play include Ponting, 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.