Heavy rain forecast in Sydney has forced the Bushfire Bash to be moved to Melbourne and as a result, a few stars have withdrawn from the contest as well. The relief match was initially supposed to be held on February 8 at the SCG just before the Big Bash League final but will now be staged at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on February 9.
Shane Warne, who was supposed to captain one of the sides, will not be available for the contest with Adam Gilchrist taking over the reigns. Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Brisbane Heat player Grace Harris, and NRL legend Brad Fittler will also not be available for the contest. Former West Indies great Courtney Walsh, who was supposed to be one of the coaches with Sachin Tendulkar being the other, will now be involved in a playing capacity. Australian Test captain Tim Paine will now be Gilchrist XI’s coach.
The contest at the Junction Oval will take place immediately after the conclusion of the women’s T20I between Australia and England. The decision to move the game was taken since 50 millimetres of rain was predicted to fall on Saturday in Sydney. Since the relief match and the BBL final were scheduled to be played on the same pitch, Cricket Australia decided to prioritise the T20 final which is already expected to be a truncated clash.
The exhibition match will be a ten overs per side affair and will feature the likes of Brian Lara, Yuvraj Singh, Wasim Akram, Shane Watson amongst others.
“The Australian Women’s team is looking forward to a packed house at Junction Oval for their T20I against England, leading into the Bushfire Bash with a line up of cricket legends being broadcast around the world. Thanks to Shane for his incredible fundraising efforts and contribution to the planning of this event. He hands over the captaincy to Adam Gilchrist who will now lead the Gilchrist XI against the star studded Ponting XI.”