Ponting, Warne to lead opposing teams in charity match for bushfire relief fund
Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne will captain star-studded lineups at an exhibition match aimed at raising money to bolster the relief efforts for victims of Australia's bushfires.
Several cricketing greats will come out of retirement to entertain fans in an enthralling clash labelled the "Bushfire Cricket Bash".
Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Justin Langer and former women cricketer Alex Blackwell are expected to play while Steve Waugh and Mel Jones will also be part of the proceedings in a non-playing capacity.
The game is scheduled to be held on February 8, as a curtain-raiser to the Big Bash League final with the earnings from both games going to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
Devastating fires across the country have ravaged large acres of land and killed at least 27 people in addition to the loss of millions of animals.
Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts hoped the board's endeavour would help people affected by the catastrophic fires.
"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," he said.
"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."
Meanwhile, CA has installed an AUD 2 million fund to aid the cricket clubs and communities impacted in the disaster.
Warne himself has been at the forefront of donations to relief efforts as he auctioned off his "baggy green" cap for more than one million dollars - a record sum for Australian cricketing memorabilia.
A handful of players in the BBL have pledged to contribute to the funds assisting victims based on the number of sixes they hit in the tournament.