Aussie Legends To Pad Up For Bushfire Relief

Shane Warne is embraced by Australian captain Ricky Ponting in 2006

Australian cricketing legends Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne have made a decision to temporarily come out of retirement and play a fund-raiser T20 match called the "Bushfire Cricket Bash".

On Friday, Warne's "baggy green" cap, awarded to Test players on their debut, sold at auction for more than Aus$1 million (nearly $700,000) with all funds aiding victims.

Steve Waugh and Mel Jones have also been confirmed as being involved in a non-playing capacity.

The matches will form part of a triple header of cricket on the same day, with Australia to host India in a women's T20 worldwide in Melbourne.

Others playing include Australia head coach Justin Langer, former captain Michael Clarke, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist and ex-Australia Women's player Alex Blackwell.

One name Warne mentioned was Nick Riewoldt who he said was very keen to get involved. It doesn't matter whether it's music, film, television or sport with the most varied codes, "said Warne. We're trying to put together an eclectic group, a diverse group that people will identify with". "Warnie has majority on speed dial so he'll be reaching out to them over coming days", he added.

It looks like India stars Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni could also be part of the star-studded charity game. All of these people who were here and toured with different countries had a great time in Australia, "said Ponting". Sometimes it can be awesome what people will do to help others out in hard times.

The venue will only be decided when the host of the BBL final is confirmed, but the MCG looms as a likely option. It has been a pretty tragic time, " Ponting said.

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. "It's nice to be a part of it", Ponting told reporters.

"If we could build something like this for this game, it would be wonderful".

There will be fundraising initiatives across all three matches and all money raised will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

"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", Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said.



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