Asia to play Rest of the World for charity

Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:An International Cricket Council XI and Asia XI would play a two-match one-day series to raise funds for tsunami victims in various countries.

The first match of the series, sponsored by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), would be played in Melbourne, Australia, on January 10 while the return leg match would be held in a venue to be selected by ACC in mid-February.

Announcing this here today, ACC president Jagmohan Dalmiya said the Asia XI team would be selected by chairmen of selection committees of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh soon.

The proceeds from the first match would be donated to global relief and development organisation World Vision, which is providing food and family survival kits to countries affected by the tsunami disaster, he said.

Meanwhile, in a statement from London, ICC president Ehsan Mani said the enormous goodwill across the cricket playing world made the matches possible at short notice.

"Like the rest of the world, the international cricket community is shocked at the scale of devastation caused by this disaster. All of us, players, home boards, regional and international governing bodies have been looking for a way to make meaningful contribution to the massive effort required to help deal with the impact of this tragedy," he said.

"These matches along with other fund raising initiatives in other countries provide us with the way to make this contribution. I believe these matches will be able to generate millions of dollars to be used to help rebuild people's lives," the ICC chief said.

Hailing the initiatives taken by Cricket Australia and other cricket boards and players for extending support to the cause, Mani said ''they deserve enormous credit for helping make these matches a reality''.

Australia's world champion cricketers had proposed an international match to raise funds for Tsunami victims besides donating Aus $ 17,000 (US $ 13,100) prize money from its recent victory over Pakistan to Tsunami relief.

Commenting on the series, Dalmiya said the ACC would announce the Asia XI within a few days while the ICC XI would be selected by ICC and Cricket Australia.

He said while the money raised from the first match would be donated to World Vision, the ACC would determine how the money raised from the second game would be allocated to assist the relief work.

''Our region has been devastated and the ACC has been seeking a way to use cricket to assist people to recover from this tragedy. ACC has already done the spadework and wide scale participation is expected from the Asian countries, specially the ACC members,'' Dalmiya said.

He said Australian broadcaster Channel 9 has committed to telecast the first match live in Australia while negotiations were on with international broadcasters for telecast rights for the match in other markets, including Asia.

Channel 9 would also use the match to promote a national telephone service for people around Australia to make donation to World Vision's relief programme.

The broadcaster for the second match was yet to be decided, Dalmiya said.

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