ICC XI, Asian XI to raise money for tsunami victims

Associated Press

Sydney, January 1:

An International Cricket Council (ICC) XI will play an Asian XI in Melbourne on January 10, with organisers hoping the sport’s biggest stars will help raise millions of dollars for the relief fund for the tsunamis that have devastated parts of Asia.

Former Australian captain Stephen Waugh will coach and manage the ICC lineup, which will include players from Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies. Waugh and New Zealander Richard Hadlee will select the ICC XI and it will be announced on Sunday.

The Asian Cricket Council will select a lineup from its some of its member countries that have been hit by the tsunamis, including Sri Lanka and India, as well as Pakistan.

India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar is a strong contender to lead the Asian lineup in the day-night international at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

England and South Africa are playing a Test series in Africa, making those players unavailable for the Melbourne match. Although, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said he hoped all international players would be available for a return match in Asia in February or March.

Speed announced the Melbourne match at a news conference in Sydney on Saturday. He said he hoped millions of dollars would be raised in ticket sales, TV broadcasting rights and a telephone fundraising drive being held on Australian television in conjunction with the match.

Funds raised will go to World Vision to spend on relief projects throughout southeast and south Asia, where more than 122,000 people have been killed in the tsunamis.

Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist is an ambassador for World Vision and a likely starter in the Melbourne match.