Sri Lanka Cricket to raise tsunami relief funds

Published: Monday, January 3, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka Cricket said the national team will play a series of benefit matches to help raise money for survivors of the tsunami tragedy that claimed more than 30,000 lives in this cricket-crazy nation.

"We are going to launch a major program to help raise money for the tsunami survivors," Sri Lanka Cricket president Mohan de Silva said on Monday.

"The first will be the benefit match in Melbourne and thereafter we will have several events within the country."

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh is due to coach and manage a World XI which contains five Australians and four Test captains for the match against an Asian XI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 10.

Champion leg-spinner Shane Warne, who has come out of limited overs retirement to lend his services, joins Australian teammates Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting, who will lead the side.

Other top cricketers include Brian Lara and Stephen Fleming, captains of West Indies and New Zealand.

A return match will be played in February in either India or Sri Lanka, the two cricket nations to have endured the worst from the Boxing Day disaster.

International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed said he expected the match at the 80,000-capacity MCG to raise "millions of dollars" through ground entry, sponsorship, television rights, ground collections and a telethon.

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