Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne will captain the two sides in Bushfire Bash (Express Archive)
Cricket Australia (CA) on Sunday announced the Bushfire Cricket Bash in an attempt to help the victims of the recent devastating bushfires in the country. Cricketing greats Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and others will come out of retirement for a charity game featuring Australia's former superstar cricketers on February 8.
The Ponting XI vs Warne XI to be played on February 8 is among other initiatives announced by CA on Sunday to support the bushfire victims. The star-studded affair will also include Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Justin Langer, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Alex Blackwell.
Former Australian skipper Steve Waugh and former Australian women cricketer Mel Jones will also be a part of the event but they won't take the field. The Ponting XI vs Warne XI will be a part of triple-header Bushfire bash event.
India Women are also scheduled to play Australia Women on the same date in a T20I clash. The two games will be followed by the Big Bash League 2019-20 final. The venue of the final is yet to be announced as the tournament is still in the league stage.
Match 1: Commonwealth Bank Women’s Tri-Series T20I, Australia v India, Junction Oval, Melbourne
Match 2: Bushfire Cricket Bash, Ponting XI v Warne XI (venue to be announced)
Match 3: KFC Big Bash League Final(venue to be announced)
The money raised from these three fixtures will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
"The Bushfire Cricket Bash will be Cricket Australia’s major fundraising initiative to support Australians impacted by the recent unprecedented bushfire emergency," CA's CEO Kevin Roberts said in a statement.
"People the world over have seen the overwhelming images of hundreds of thousands of hectares burnt, precious lives lost, hundreds of properties destroyed and the devastating loss of wildlife as a result of the fires. These images have reinforced the need to get behind organisations like the Australian Red Cross which is responding to the immediate requirements of people who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their livelihoods."
More former cricketers are expected to join the 10 former players who will be a part of Bushfire Bash.
CA have also released a fund of $2 million to help the community cricket clubs affected by the rampaging fires. Upcoming Australia vs New Zealand ODI series will also be dedicated to volunteering emergency workers.
Earlier, Australian Test skipper Tim Paine and star off-spinner Nathan Lyon visited Wingello, a town of about 500 people in hard-hit New South Wales and thanked the firefighters for their efforts. Spin legend Warne also put his baggy green for bidding, raising $1 million for relief funds.