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Tsunami charity match a sellout

Published: Friday, January 7, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Australian cricket authorities declared an all-star tsunami relief charity match a sellout that would raise millions of dollars for disaster victims.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said no more tickets were available to the public at next Monday's match between an Asian XI and a Rest of the World team at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"We are overwhelmed by the support shown by all parties involved with this match, particularly the Australian cricketing public," Sutherland said.

"To sell approximately 56,000 tickets in just three days is an amazing effort ... we're certainly hoping to raise several million dollars for the tsunami appeal."

He was confident remaining tickets at the 80,000 capacity ground, which are reserved for MCG members and their guests, would be snapped up over the weekend.

Telecommunications company "3", an Australian division of Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, said pledged to pay 1,000 dollars (762 US) for every run scored in the match to the tsunami appeal.

With around 300 runs per team realistics in the star-studded charity hit out, it could mean an extra 600,000 to the event's total.

England paceman Darren Gough said he was excited to be playing alongside some of his cricketing heroes for a worthy cause.

"For me, when I got the call I wanted to be part of it," he told reporters. "It's great to play in the same team with cricketers you've admired and played against all your life - Shane Warne and Brian Lara just to name a couple."

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council said Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzak will replace injured paceman Shoaib Akhtar in the Asian XI after "the Rawlpindi Express" was forced to withdraw because of a hamstring injury.

Officials said Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was in Australia to support the match but it was unclear whether an elbow injury would prevent him from playing.

The ICC said the Asian XI would appear in green uniforms with gold trim during the day-nighter, while the Rest of the World would wear navy blue with white stripes.

South African Rudi Koertzen and New Zealand's Billy Bowden would be the on-field umpires, with England's Chris Broad acting as match referee.

The ICC said the match and a planned follow up in Asia would have full one-day international status, meaning statistics from the games will count on players' one-day career records.

The match will be televised to 122 countries, the ICC added.

Squads:

ASIA

1. Sourav Ganguly (IND/capt) 2. Marvan Atapattu (SRI) 3. Rahul Dravid (IND) 4. Sanath Jayasuriya (SRI) 5. Alok Kapali (BAN) 6. Zaheer Khan (IND) 7. Anil Kumble (IND) 8 Muttiah Muralitharan (SRI) 9. Kumar Sangakkara (SRI) 10. Virender Sehwag (IND) 11. Sachin Tendulkar 12. Chaminda Vaas (SRI) 13. Yousuf Youhana (PAK) 14. Abdul Razzak (PAK)

Rest of the World

1. Ricky Ponting (AUS/capt) 2. Stephen Fleming (NZL/vc) 3. Dwayne Bravo (WIS) 4. Chris Cairns (NZL) 5. Chris Gayle (WIS) 6. Adam Gilchrist (AUS) 7. Darren Gough (ENG) 8. Matthew Hayden (AUS) 9. Brian Lara (WIS) 10. Glenn McGrath (AUS) 11. Daniel Vettori (NZL) 12. Shane Warne (AUS)

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